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News :: Human Rights
Syria's Support for Terrorism
10 Mar 2004
State sponsored terrorism is synonymous with Syria and more closely with the Assad regime. During the reign of Hafez al-Assad, and continuing with his son Baschar, Syria's al-Baath Party has embarked on strengthening its political hand by using the crudest of methods: Terrorism.
Syria's application of terrorism has been regional in nature and mostly against the country of Israel. Israel, to protect its citizenry living in the North, has tried to counter balance the Syrian involvement with Hezbollah by supporting its own militia in the south of Lebanon made up of Christian conscripts opposing the Syrian presence in Lebanon. The raining of rockets by Hezbollah on the State of Israel is triggered with an on-off button under the right hand of the Assad family in Damascus. The US State Department has labeled Syria a terrorist state

According to the Council on Foreign Relations, Syria -along with Iran- gives the Lebanese militia Hezbollah “substantial amounts of financial, training, weapons, explosives, political, diplomatic, and organizational aid,” according to the State Department. Iranian arms bound for Hezbollah regularly pass through Syria, experts say. Syria, which has effectively occupied and controlled neighboring Lebanon since 1990, has also let Hezbollah operate in Lebanon and attack Israel, often ratcheting up regional tensions.

Syria has also provided training, weapons, safe haven, and logistical support to both leftist and Islamist Palestinian hard-liners. The far-left Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command and the fundamentalist Palestinian Islamic Jihad have their headquarters in Damascus, and other terrorist groups, including the Islamist group Hamas and the leftist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, maintain offices there.

From 1980 until 1998, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, which sought an independent Kurdish state, used Syria as a headquarters and base of operations against neighboring Turkey. Recently, Syria signed the Adana Agreement with Turkey and relinquished support for the KWP.

Syria signed a free trade agreement with Iraq in 2001 and is the primary conduit for Iraqi oil pumped and sold in defiance of U.N. sanctions, thereby providing Saddam Hussein with a large source of illegal income. U.S. pressure on Syria to curtail the flow of Iraqi oil has been unsuccessful.

Syria has weapons of mass destruction and the ballistic missiles to deliver them, according to U.S. defense and intelligence reports. Syria has an active chemical weapons program, including significant reserves of the deadly nerve agent sarin. Its research programs are trying to develop even more toxic nerve agents. It also has a biological weapons program, but experts say Syria is incapable of producing and “weaponizing” large quantities of dangerous germs without substantial foreign help. Syria is not currently trying to build or buy nuclear weapons, experts say.

Syria has not ceased its support for terrorists.

The Syrian Government still provides terrorists with safe haven, allows them to operate over a dozen terrorist training camps in the Syrian-controlled Bekaa Valley in Lebanon, and permits the Iranian Government to re-supply these camps. Since its designation as a state sponsor of terrorism, Syria has expelled a few terrorist groups from Damascus, such as the Japanese Red Army, but these groups already were of marginal value to Syrian foreign policy. Meanwhile, Damascus continues to support terrorist groups opposed to the peace process. Although Syria recently made a show of "instructing" terrorists based in Damascus not to engage in certain types of attacks, it did not expel the groups or cease supporting them. This suggests Syria's determination to maintain rather than abandon terrorism. George W. Bush should make clear to Syria that it will remain on the list of state sponsors of terrorism until it shuts down training camps and other facilities in Syria and the Bekaa Valley and prohibits the re-supply of terrorist groups through Syrian-controlled territory.




Syrian law still criminalizes peaceful expression and association and censors newspapers and other media. Emergency law granting widespread powers to the government remains in effect and opposition groups are essentially barred from political activity.

Hundreds more political prisoners remain in prisons where torture is sometimes used and medical treatment is largely inadequate. Many prisoners have been held past the expiration of their sentences after refusing to sign loyalty oaths. Some prisoners detained since the 1970s have yet to be charged or tried. The government has failed to provide information about scores of people who were "disappeared" in previous years.
See also:
http://www.reformsyria.com/syria%20today/syria_terrorism.htm

This work is in the public domain

Comments

Anti-American groups sponsored and protected by Syrian Army
10 Mar 2004
Syrian-protected extremest-Muslim Palestinian militiamen of the Asbat al-Ansar group(related to Bin Laden) burn the American flag at the Ein el-Hilweh Palestinian refugee camp on outskirts of the southern port city of Sidon, Lebanon, Monday, Oct. 29, 2001.




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Terrorist attacks against Americans


U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Col. W. Higgins was kidnapped and murdered while serving with the United Nations Truce Supervisory Organization (UNTSO) in southern Lebanon. (February 17, 1988)
23 October 1983) a truck loaded with explosives crashed through the security perimeter of the United States Marine Corps Barracks in Beirut, Lebanon. In the explosion that followed, 241 U.S. Military personnel were killed and 80 seriously wounded.These young people, on a mission of peace in a land stricken by violence, were killed as they slept.

Further Syrian terrorist attacks against peace keeping forces, forced the UN multi-national forces to pullout from Lebanon and leave it for Syrians and pro-Syrian guerrillas.
Trans-World Airlines flight was hijacked en route to Rome from Athens and forced to fly to Beirut. The eight crew members and 145 passengers were held for 17 days, during which one American hostage, a U.S. Navy sailor, was murdered.




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* Political Officer William Buckley in Beirut (1984). Other U.S. citizens not connected to the U.S. Government were seized over a succeeding 2-year period.


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* Eighteen U.S. servicemen were killed, and 83 people were injured in a bomb attack on a restaurant near a U.S. Air Force Base in Torrejon, Spain. (April 12, 1984)
Syria founded and sponsored several terrorist groups in self-occupied Lebanon and in Syria. Syrian sponsored groups carried several suicide attacks against Americans, West-Europeans and Lebanese since 1980’s killing hundreds. The Syrian regime has founded and sponsored terrorists that mastered hostage-taking and hijacking against American and West-European nationals and civil airplanes. Eleven terrorist groups listed in the US State Department use the Syrian capital as a headquarter.
Syria Crimes against humanity:
Using WMD against Syrian and Lebanese prisoners
Massacring civilian Syrians and civilian Lebanese in Syria and occupied Lebanon
Detaining, torturing and killing thousands of prisoners in Syria and Lebanon
Syrian Relations with the Iraqi Baath Party:
Using the same fascist means in an extreme competition to rule over the Arab countries while claming the highest level of hater to the US and the West.
Starting mid 90’s, the Syrian regime started smuggling Iraqi oil in violation of the United Nations' resolutions. This enabled Saddam Husein’s regime to survive longer and helped selling its oil for weapons that were used later against the US and the allied troops. During the war of liberating Iraq, the Syrian totalitarian regime feared being the next tyranny to fall and supported Saddam’s troops by sending arms and paying mercenaries to fight against the US and the allied troops. The Syrian Foreign Minister announced that it is “Syrian national interest for the Allied troops to be defeated”


http://www.2la.org/lebanon/ee/terroram.htm