US official: ”Syrians have not been punished yet for their actions,” US pressure likely to increase in coming weeks

Published March 13th, 2006 - 07:15 GMT

US officials have stated that dealing with Syria will soon become one of the US government's top priorities, as the US Defense Department continues to maintain that American policy in the Middle East is being undermined by terrorists using Syria as a transit point into Iraq. 

 

"They are aiding directly in the killing of American soldiers, and we have still not settled accounts with them on that score," one U.S. official said, according to Reuters and Haaretz.

 

"If the Syrians think they've managed to get off the hook because there are other things on the agenda, they are mistaken. The Syrians have not been punished yet for their actions and we are continuing to study their conduct. Their luck will run out eventually."

 

The US also pointed out that the Syrian issue was connected to Iran as well, since Iran also had interests in undermining US policy in the Middle East and "destabilizing" the region.

 

One US source implied that "weak leadership" in Syria was allowing for increased influence by Iran in the country.

 

"[Former president] Hafez Assad always held the Iranians as a card in his pocket, but in the case of [current President] Bashar Assad, the Iranians are the ones holding him as a card in their pocket," said the source.

 

Other sources hinted that the US will increase pressure on Syria in the coming weeks.

 

"We have not forgotten about Syria," said another American source.

 

© 2006 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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