Report: Syria warns Spain over arms dealer extradition
Spanish newspaper El Mundo reported in its Monday headline that about threats from Syria to Spain demanding that the alleged arms dealer Monzer Al Kassar will not be extradited to the United States. The paper said that one of the Syrian messages was sent to the head of the CNI, Spanish secret service, threatening they would not look the other way if the extradition takes place.
"If you think we are going to ignore the affront inflicted by north-American henchmen on our brother (Kassar), you don't really know us and [you] are no friends of the Syrian people," the paper quoted the Syrian side as saying.
A Spanish police document indicated that Syrian General Assef Shawkat, the brother-in-law to Syrian President Bashar Assad, has warned the Spanish Foreign Minsiter, Miguel Angel Moratinos that it is not the Americans who are protecting Spanish troops in Lebanon, and such protection could disappear. Some 1,100 Spanish troops serve in the UN interim force in Lebanon deployed following the summer 2006 war between Israel and Hizbullah. Six Spanish soldiers were killed during a bombing there in June.
The 62 year old Al-Kassar was born in Syria and is also known as the "Prince of Marbella." He has been accused of arming Iraqis, the Contras and Somalian warlords.
The paper said the cabinet will decide on whether the extradition will take place on Friday.