US-controlled Iraq opens new rail link with Syria despite sanction campaign
The railway linking the Syrian town of Aleppo to Mosul in northern Iraq is scheduled to re-open on November 21, 2003. The plan was approved despite the United States’ presence in the region and Tuesday’s endorsement of the Syria Accountability Act.
The train will depart Aleppo Thursday nights and will make five stops during the 11-hour journey to Mosul, reported SANA. The 745-kilometer railway was first restored in 2000 after a decade-long interruption following Iraq’s 1990 invasion of Kuwait. The railway was opened to facilitate the growth of bilateral trade, as well as the use of Syrian and Lebanese ports to import goods from Europe.
Despite tense relations between the US and Syria, the CPA applauded the July resumption of railway services between northern Iraq and the state labeled by the US as a supporter of terrorism. Operations were renewed under the administration of the US Army, the official supervisors of Iraq’s northern region.
The US Senate voted in favor of a sanctions program against Syria on Tuesday, November 11, 2003, which calls for the barring US exports, including dual-use items, to the Arab state. The act also keeps Syria on the US Department of State's list of nations that sponsor terrorism, demands that Syria withdraw its troops from Lebanon, and holds Syria responsible for terrorism against US military forces in Iraq. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)