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Syria opposes US strike on Iraq - minister

FYI. The article below is from Thursday's Jordan Times. URL at end of article; available online 
till next Thursday.

Salwa de Vree,
Leiden, The Netherlands.

Syria opposes US strike on Iraq — minister    
DUBAI (AFP) — Syria would oppose a US military strike on Iraq, and Washington's division of Iraq 
into enclaves has nothing to do with UN resolutions, according to Syrian Information Minister Adnan 
“Our position regarding Iraq is nationalistic and unequivocal: We are against the targeting of any 
Arab country without exception,” Omran said in an interview appearing in Thursday's issue of the 
Daily Star-International Herald Tribune joint regional edition published in Beirut. 

Even Kuwait is in line with “the joint Arab position ... (that) opposes any aggression against 
Iraq,” Omran said in the interview, an advance copy of which was faxed to AFP in Dubai on 

“The excuses the Americans are using to accuse Iraq are laughable and have nothing to do with UN 
resolutions,” said Omran when asked about US suggestions that Iraq might be targeted in a future 
phase of Washington's “war on terror.” 

“They have divided Iraq along imaginary lines, carving up one enclave in the north and another in 
the south; even the country's airspace has been divided in a way that bears no relation to UN 
resolutions,” he said, referring to “no-fly zones” enforced by US and British warplanes in northern 
and southern Iraq. 

“Every now and then, Iraq's national sovereignty is violated in an unacceptable and unjustified 
manner in the north of the country. This not only abuses to UN resolutions, it also violates the UN 
Charter,” he said. 

Omran said even Kuwait, which was occupied by Iraq for seven months in 1990-1991, opposed US 
military action against its northern neighbour. 

“We were very happy to hear Kuwaiti Deputy Premier and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad say 
the other day that Kuwait opposes any aggression against Iraq. It was a clear pan-Arab nationalist 
position expressed by the most senior Kuwaiti foreign policy official,” the Syrian minister said. 

He went on to deny that Syria was standing by Iraq because of its vast commercial interests with 
Baghdad, adding that Syria's “economic integration” with Iraq was neither “a gimmick” nor 

The United States has not ruled out taking military action against Iraq as part of its so-called 
“war on terror” which began in Afghanistan on Oct. 7 in retaliation for the Sept. 11 terror attacks.


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