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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)


2005 Syria Special Weapons News

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec



December

November

  • UN confirms agreement with Syria on Lebanon murder probe UN News Centre 25 Nov 2005 -- Detlev Mehlis, who heads the investigation into the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, has reached an agreement with the Syrian authorities on the United Nations office in Vienna as a venue for the questioning of five Syrian officials in the case, a UN spokesperson confirmed today.
  • Syria Agrees to Let UN Interview Officials in Hariri Probe VOA 25 Nov 2005 -- Syria has agreed to allow United Nations investigators to question at U.N. headquarters in Vienna five Syrian officials about the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.
  • Syria Seeks Deal with Hariri Assassination Probe VOA 22 Nov 2005 -- Syria has asked U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan to broker a cooperation agreement between Damascus and investigators probing the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri
  • Syria Must Stop Stalling Hariri Probe, Ambassador Bolton Says Washington File 22 Nov 2005 -- Syria must stop "delaying and obstructing" the work of the international commission investigating the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri, U.S. Ambassador John Bolton said November 22.
  • In Beirut, UN official fully backs Mehlis probe, urges Syria's full cooperation UN News Centre 16 Nov 2005 -- Continuing meetings in Beirut today, a senior United Nations official emphasized his confidence in Detlev Mehlis' investigation into the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and issued a renewed plea for Syria to cooperate fully with that probe so that the crime does not go unpunished.
  • SYRIA: UN investigators deadlocked over interrogation venue IRIN 15 Nov 2005 -- The Syrian foreign ministry failed to reach an agreement on Monday with UN investigators on a venue for the questioning of six Syrian officials allegedly involved in the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.
  • President Bush Criticizes Syria in Speech VOA 11 Nov 2005 -- President Bush has called on Syria to "stop exporting violence and start importing democracy".
  • Syria Imposes Travel Ban on 6 Officials Named in Hariri Probe VOA 09 Nov 2005 -- Syria has imposed a travel ban on six officials wanted for questioning by the United Nations commission investigating the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.
  • Syria's Assad assures Annan he will cooperate with probe into Hariri murder UN News Centre 08 Nov 2005 -- Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has assured Secretary-General Kofi Annan that he will cooperate with the United Nations-sponsored independent probe into the terrorist assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, following an interim finding that pointed to both Lebanese and Syrian involvement.
  • Syria Considers UN Request to Question six Officers in Hariri Probe VOA 07 Nov 2005 -- Syria says it will consider letting the U.N. interrogate six of its senior officials regarding the February 14th blast that killed former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and 22 others.
  • UN Investigator Summons 6 Top Syrian Officials in Hariri Probe VOA 05 Nov 2005 -- Published reports say the chief U.N. investigator into the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri has summoned six top Syrian intelligence officials to Lebanon for questioning.
  • SYRIA: UN resolution ratchets up more pressure on Damascus IRIN 02 Nov 2005 -- Pressure on Syria escalated after the unanimous adoption by the UN Security Council of a resolution threatening Damascus with "further action" unless it arrests suspects in the murder of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.
  • SYRIA: UN resolution ratchets up more pressure on Damascus IRIN 02 Nov 2005 -- Pressure on Syria escalated after the unanimous adoption by the UN Security Council of a resolution threatening Damascus with "further action" unless it arrests suspects in the murder of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.
  • UN looks to next steps in Syria, including disarming militia in Lebanon, envoy says UN News Centre 02 Nov 2005 -- The United Nations is aiming to help resolve outstanding issues between Syria and Lebanon such as the disbanding of militias and the demarcation of a border between the two countries, now that key Security Council goals for Lebanon have been met, including the holding of parliamentary elections and the withdrawal of Syrian troops, a senior UN official said today in New York.
  • Russia: Moscow Treads A Fine Line With UN Syria Vote RFE/RL 01 Nov 2005 -- On 31 October, Russia voted unanimously with the other members of the UN Security Council for a resolution demanding Syria's full cooperation with a UN investigation into the assassination of Lebanon's former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri
  • Tangible results still not achieved in key parts of resolution on Lebanon - Annan UN News Centre 01 Nov 2005 -- While some requirements of a key United Nations resolution on Lebanon have been met, including withdrawal of Syrian troops and holding free and fair elections, others remain to be implemented, particularly disbanding Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias, Secretary-General Kofi Annan says in his latest report on the issue.
  • Lebanese Pleased with UN Resolution on Syria VOA 01 Nov 2005 -- Syria bristled after the U.N. Security Council ordered Damascus to cooperate with its investigation into the slaying of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik al Hariri.

October

September

August

July

  • SYRIA: Civil and political freedoms “still a concern” IRIN 31 Jul 2005 -- The Human Rights Committee of the United Nations has welcomed Syria’s signing on to several more international human rights treaties in the past four years, but regrets that most of the concerns it highlighted in 2001 are still issues today.
  • New Lebanese Prime Minister Visits Syria to Improve Relations VOA 31 Jul 20005 -- Lebanon's new prime minister is visiting Damascus for talks with Syrian leaders aimed a improving relations. Just a day earlier, the first government formed since Syria's withdrawal from Lebanon won a vote of confidence in Parliament
  • U.S. Official Renews Concerns About Syrian Involvement in Lebanon VOA 29 Jul 2005 -- A U.S. official has told Congress the United States still has very serious concerns about ongoing Syrian involvement in Lebanon, despite the withdrawal earlier this year of Syrian regular army troops
  • Congress Explores Syrian Role in Subverting Iraq Sanctions Washington File 27 Jul 2005 -- The Syrian government and the Commercial Bank of Syria had key roles in subverting U.N. sanctions against Saddam Hussein's regime and facilitated the export of prohibited military items to the former Iraqi regime, according to witnesses testifying before the House International Relations Subcommittee on the Middle East and Central Asia July 27.
  • US Says Syria Gives Safe Harbor to Palestinian Terrorists VOA 13 Jul 2005 -- The United States is stepping up criticism of Syria for allowing the group responsible for Tuesday's suicide bombing in Israel to operate on its territory. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says such support should end immediately.

June

  • Bush Orders Sanctions Against Weapons Proliferators Washington File 29 Jun 2005 -- President Bush issued an executive order June 29 to freeze the assets of individuals or companies in the United States that are doing business with entities in Iran, North Korea and Syria believed to be involved in the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD).
  • US Puts Financial Sanctions on Key Syrian Officials VOA 30 Jun 2005 -- The United States Thursday moved to freeze financial assets of Syria's interior minister and its military intelligence chief for Lebanon. Administration officials said the action is aimed at prodding Damascus to end its intelligence role in Lebanon, and tighten its border with Iraq.
  • U.S. Moves To Freeze Assets of Two Syrian Intelligence Officers Washington File 30 Jun 2005 -- The U.S. government has taken actions to financially isolate two Syrians accused of directing Syria's military and security operations in Lebanon, according to a Treasury Department press release June 30.
  • Bush Disturbed by Reports Syrian Agents Still in Lebanon VOA 10 Jun 2005 -- President Bush says he is disturbed by reports that Syrian intelligence agents are still operating in Lebanon.
  • U.S. Deeply Concerned about Syrian Interference in Lebanon Washington File 10 Jun 2005 -- The U.S. government is deeply concerned about Syria's intimidation and interference in Lebanon, according to State Department spokesman Sean McCormack.
  • Syrian Kurds In Talks With Arab Tribes RFE/RL 07 Jun 2005 -- Kurdish leaders in Syria said on 6 June that the situation remained tense in northeastern Syria after reported sectarian clashes over the weekend.
  • Senator Leahy Says Syria Was Behind Hariri Assassination VOA 06 Jun 2005 -- A senior U.S. senator says he has no doubt that Syria was behind the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.
  • Turkey Confirms Syrian Scud Debris Hit Turkish Soil VOA 03 Jun 2005 -- Turkish officials are confirming that a Syrian scud missile broke up over the province of Hatay in southern Turkey last week, scattering debris over two villages. The officials say there were no casualties.

May

  • US Terms Syrian Cooperation Minimal and Sporadic VOA 24 May 2005 -- The Bush administration Tuesday brushed aside a Syrian statement that it has severed military and intelligence cooperation with Washington because of what it says is an unfair U.S. media campaign against it. The State Department said Syrian cooperation on Iraq and other issues was minimal and sporadic.
  • UN Says Syria Made Full Withdrawal from Lebanon; US Expresses Doubt VOA 23 May 2005 -- A U.N. inspection team has verified the full withdrawal of all Syrian troops from Lebanon. Secretary General Kofi Annan certified the withdrawal in a report to the Security Council.
  • Syrian forces have verifiably been withdrawn from Lebanon, Annan says UN News Centre 23 May 2005 -- The United Nations verification mission sent to ensure that Syrian troops, military assets and its intelligence apparatus have fully withdrawn from Lebanon has reported that they pulled out of all areas, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said today.
  • Rice Criticizes Syrian Support for Iraqi Terrorists VOA 20 May 2005 -- Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has sharpened U.S. criticism of alleged Syrian support for the Iraqi insurgency, saying the Damascus government is out of step with the rest of the region. She held talks Friday with Iraq's planning minister, Barham Salih, who said former dictator Saddam Hussein could face trial within a few months.

April

  • Putin Reassures Israel On Deals With Syria And Iran RFE/RL 28 Apr 2005 -- Russian President Vladimir Putin and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon met in Jerusalem today for talks on Russia's role in the Middle East -- including a proposal by Putin to hold a peace conference in Moscow later this year.
  • Syria Informs UN Lebanon Withdrawal Complete VOA News 26 Apr 2005 -- Syria's U.N. Ambassador Fayssal Mekhdad came to the Security Council chamber Tuesday to confirm that the pullout was, in his words "full and complete."
  • Syrian Government informs UN of troop pullout UN News Centre 26 Apr 2005 -- The Syrian Government has informed United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan by letter that it has withdrawn its troops from Lebanon, a UN spokesman said today.
  • Syria Says 'Last' Soldier Withdrawn From Lebanon VOA News 26 Apr 2005 -- Syria says it has withdrawn its last soldier from Lebanon, following an official ceremony near the Lebanon-Syria border. The event symbolically brought to a close Syria's 29-year military occupation.
  • STRELETS SAM SYSTEMS TO BE SOLD TO SYRIA RIA Novosti 26 Apr 2005 -- Strelets surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems are to be supplied to Syria, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said.
  • Russia to Sell Weapons to Syria VOA News 26 Apr 2005 -- Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov says Moscow will go ahead with a controversial weapons sale to Syria.
  • Syrian Withdrawal from Lebanon to be Completed Soon VOA 23 Apr 2005 -- Lebanese officials say Syria's military and intelligence withdrawal from Lebanon will be complete ahead of schedule, within the next two days.
  • Sharon Expresses Concerns about Russia's Missile Sales to Syria VOA News 21 Apr 2005 -- Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has expressed concern that Russian anti-aircraft missiles being sold to Syria could fall into the hands of terrorist groups.
  • Bush Wants Syria to Continue Withdrawal from Lebanon VOA News 19 Apr 2005 -- President Bush says Syria must finish withdrawing soldiers and security services from Lebanon before Lebanese elections scheduled for next month.
  • ISRAEL / SYRIA INFILTRATOR VOA 15 Apr 2005 -- Israeli officials say their troops have captured a Palestinian gunman who infiltrated the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights from Syria and opened fire on an Israeli military outpost.
  • UN envoy wraps up visit with Syrian agreement to withdraw from Lebanon UN News Centre 06 Apr 2005 -- The United Nations envoy seeking the withdrawal of thousands of Syrian troops from Lebanon wrapped up his latest visit to the region today after securing Syria's agreement to withdraw all its forces, military assets and intelligence apparatus from its smaller neighbour by 30 April.
  • UN envoy on Syrian pullout from Lebanon continues talks UN News Centre 05 Apr 2005 -- The United Nations envoy seeking the withdrawal of thousands of Syrian troops from Lebanon continued his talks with Lebanese leaders in Beirut today, underlining the importance for the country's stability that free and fair elections be held by their scheduled date before the end of May.
  • Syria agrees to UN-verified troop withdrawal from Lebanon by 30 April UN News Centre 04 Apr 2005 -- Syria has agreed to withdraw all its troops, military assets and intelligence apparatus from Lebanon by 30 April under United Nations verification, in accordance with a Security Council resolution on the issue.
  • Middle East: Syria Pledges Complete Withdrawal From Lebanon By End Of April RFE/RL 04 Apr 2005 -- Syria's president has formally promised that all Syrian troops and intelligence agents will be withdrawn from Lebanon by 30 April. Syria also has agreed to allow UN monitors to verify the withdrawal. By sending its troops home after 29 years in Lebanon, Syria will meet demands by both the United States and the United Nations to end its military presence there.

March

  • RUSSIAN WEAPONRY SUPPLIED TO SYRIA DOES NOT THREATEN ISRAEL RIA Novosti 18 Mar 2005 -- Russia is ready to show interested experts that Russian weapons supplied to Syria cannot threaten Israel, Secretary of the Russian Security Council Igor Ivanov said in an interview with Israeli television.
  • UN / SYRIA / LEBANON RIA Novosti 17 Mar 2005 -- U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan says he expects all Syrian troops to be out of Lebanon by May. From U.N. headquarters, VOA's Peter Heinlein reports Mr. Annan set the deadline after a briefing from his Middle East envoy, who just returned from a visit to the region.
  • SYRIA PULLS OUT OF LEBANON AGAINST VOLITION VOA 17 Mar 2005 -- There will be no civil war in Lebanon after the pullout of Syrian forces, Georgy Mirsky, lecturer at the World Economics and International Relations Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, said.
  • Annan expects full Syrian withdrawal from Lebanon by mid-April to mid-May UN News Centre 17 Mar 2005 -- United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan said today he expected the full withdrawal of all Syrian troops from Lebanon, including the intelligence apparatus and military assets, to take place before the Lebanese parliamentary elections scheduled for between mid-April and mid-May.
  • LEBANON /SYRIA VOA 17 Mar 2005 -- Lebanese military officials say Syria has completed the first phase of its troop withdrawal from Lebanon. But there is still a long way for Syria to go to meet growing international demands for a complete pull-out.
  • SYRIA SHOULD NOT BE PRESSURED, MOSCOW SAYS RIA Novosti 16 Mar 2005 -- Russia opposes any attempts to pressure Syria on specific deadlines and mechanisms of withdrawing its troops from Lebanon, Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Saltanov noted.
  • UN envoy on Syrian withdrawal from Lebanon to give Annan timetable this week UN News Centre 14 Mar 2005 -- The United Nations envoy seeking the withdrawal of some 14,000 Syrian troops from Lebanon will present further details of the timetable for a complete pullout to Secretary-General Kofi Annan later this week following talks with the leaders of both countries.
  • US LEBANON VOA 13 Mar 2005 -- The Bush administration has cautiously welcomed Syria's assurances to a U.N. envoy that it would withdraw all its troops and intelligence agents from Lebanon.
  • UN Envoy: Syria Promises Total Pullout from Lebanon VOA News 12 Mar 2005 -- A senior U.N. diplomat says Syria has promised a total withdrawal of military and intelligence personnel from Lebanon as demanded by the U.N. Security Council.
  • Middle East: Syria's Leverage In Lebanon Tied To Elections RFE/RL 11 Mar 2005 -- Syria was arguably the most powerful Arab nation in the Middle East in the 1970s and '80s, but its influence appears to be on the decline. Damascus has agreed to withdraw its 14,000 troops from neighboring Lebanon, as demanded by the United Nations Security Council, as well as by an increasingly vocal opposition. But a massive pro-Syrian Lebanese rally on 8 March urged the troops stay. Has Syria's standing in Lebanon won a reprieve?
  • Iran-Syria cooperation not of military nature - deputy FM IRNA 10 Mar 2005 -- Iran-Syria cooperation had no military or security nature and was only for strengthening the public resistance in Palestine and Lebanon, Iran`s visiting Deputy Foreign Minister Ahmad Azizi said here on Wednesday.
  • US / SYRIA - RUSSIA VOA 09 Mar 2005 -- A group of Middle East experts has expressed concern about the warming of relations between Russia and Syria, and the implications of such growing ties on the region.
  • BUSH / SYRIA VOA 09 Mar 2005 -- President Bush says Syria must remove all of its troops from Lebanon, rejecting a redeployment of those troops closer to the Syrian border. Thousands of Syrians turned out in Damascus in support of President Bashar al-Assad.
  • UN envoy on Syrian withdrawal from Lebanon meets with Arab League chief UN News Centre 09 Mar 2005 -- The United Nations envoy seeking the withdrawal of some 14,000 Syrian troops from Lebanon held talks today with Arab League Secretary-General Amre Moussa on his way to the Middle East for his second series of talks in a month with Lebanese and Syrian leaders.
  • Bush Calls Syrian Withdrawal Plans "Half Measure" Washington File 09 Mar 2005 -- President Bush repeated his call for Syria to completely remove its troops and intelligence services from Lebanon, saying the withdrawal plans announced by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad are a "half measure" and do not fulfill the conditions of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1559, which calls for total removal.
  • CONGRESS/SYRIA VOA 08 Mar 2005 -- Some lawmakers in the House of Representatives are backing new legislation aimed at stepping up political and economic pressure on Syria.
  • UN envoy seeking Syrian withdrawal from Lebanon holds talks with Europeans UN News Centre 08 Mar 2005 -- The United Nations envoy seeking the withdrawal of some 14,000 Syrian troops from Lebanon held talks with European Union (EU) officials today in Brussels on his way to his second visit to the region in a month.
  • President Discusses War on Terror The White House 08 Mar 2005 -- National Defense University
  • BUSH SYRIA VOA 08 Mar 2005 -- President Bush says freedom will prevail in Lebanon as he repeated calls for Syria to withdraw its troops from the country. The appeal came as hundreds of thousands of demonstrators in Lebanon gathered to show their support for Syria.
  • LEBANON / SYRIA VOA 08 Mar 2005 -- Hundreds of thousands of protesters jammed a main square in Beirut to express support for Syrian troops in Lebanon, and to denounce the United States and Israel.
  • Middle East: Lebanon's Opposition Puts Aside Differences to Confront Syria RFE/RL 08 Mar 2005 -- In Lebanon, opposition parties calling for Syria to pull its troops from the country include both Christian and Moslem factions. Some say the newly united front that these parties present to the pro-Syrian Lebanese government would not have been possible just a few years ago. That is because reconciliation efforts to bring the country's diverse religious groups together -- whether in the government or the opposition -- remain a tentative process, though there are growing signs of success.
  • Middle East: Hizballah Holds Pro-Syrian Rally in Beirut RFE/RL 08 Mar 2005 -- Supporters of the Lebanese Shi'a Hizballah party took to the streets of Beirut on Tuesday to oppose what the party calls foreign interference aimed at pressing Damascus to withdraw its troops. The Hizballah, which has close ties with Damascus, is responding to weeks of protests by opposition parties demanding Syrian troops completely pull out of Lebanon.
  • US / SYRIA / LEBANON VOA 07 Mar 2005 -- The Bush administration Monday dismissed Syria's two-stage plan to withdraw its forces from Lebanon and said there should be a full and immediate pullout. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice meanwhile is talking with European officials about ways to help the Beirut government assert authority over the entire country.
  • BUSH/SYRIA VOA 07 Mar 2005 -- The Bush administration says Syria's plan for a two-stage troop withdrawal from Lebanon does not go far enough.
  • LEBANON / SYRIA VOA 07 Mar 2005 -- Syria and Lebanon have agreed that Syrian troops will redeploy to Lebanon's eastern Bekaa Valley by the end of March. The announcement falls short of international demands for a total Syrian pullout, as we hear from
  • Middle East: Syrian, Lebanese Announcement On Redeployment Falls Short Of International Demands RFE/RL 07 Mar 2005 -- The presidents of Syria and Lebanon have agreed to a redeployment of Syrian troops into Lebanon's eastern Bekaa Valley. But their plan delays for up to one month a decision about how long or how many Syrian troops will remain in that eastern part of Lebanon, near the Syrian border. Today's decision in Damascus calls for the first stage of a Syrian troop redeployment toward Lebanon's eastern border to take place by the end of March.
  • US / SYRIA-LEBANON VOA 06 Mar 2005 -- The Bush administration says it is skeptical of Syria's pledge to redeploy troops stationed in Lebanon.
  • ISRAEL/SYRIA VOA 06 Mar 2005 -- Israel is stepping up pressure on Syria, after its president, Bashar Assad, declared Syrian troops would be re-deployed from coastal and central Lebanon to the Bekaa Valley. Israel believes a Lebanon free of Syrian occupation would be good for the peace process.
  • LEBANON / SYRIA VOA 06 Mar 2005 -- The Lebanese defense minister says Syria will begin redeploying its 14-thousand troops Monday in Lebanon.
  • ISRAEL / JORDAN-SYRIA REACTION VOA 05 Mar 2005 -- Israel and Jordan have rejected the speech by Syrian President Bashar Assad, who said he will move his country's troops in Lebanon to the country's eastern region, to be followed by a withdrawal to the Syrian-Lebanese border. The two neighboring countries say Syria has to do much more.
  • BUSH/SYRIA VOA 05 Mar 2005 -- President Bush says Syria must get its troops and intelligence services out of Lebanon. Mr. Bush is trying to keep the pressure on Syria, as the country's Arab neighbors also are pushing for a withdrawal from Lebanon.
  • SYRIA/LEBANON VOA 05 Mar 2005 -- Syrian President Bashar al-Assad says he will begin withdrawing Syrian troops from central Lebanon, first to an eastern region and later to the countries' common border.
  • White House Report, March 4: Syria/Lebanon Washington File 04 Mar 2005 -- President Bush called for the immediate withdrawal of Syrian troops and intelligence services from Lebanon and said the United States and the international community will not accept "half-hearted measures."
  • BUSH / SYRIA VOA 04 Mar 2005 -- President Bush says Syria must completely withdraw its troops and intelligence personnel from Lebanon. The president also applauded Saudi Arabia's call for Syria to end its military and political presence in Lebanon.
  • BRITAIN / SYRIA VOA 04 Mar 2005 -- Britain says the United Nations could increase the size of its peacekeeping force in Lebanon to shore up security in support of a Syrian withdrawal from the country.
  • UN envoy seeking Syrian withdrawal from Lebanon to return there in coming days UN News Centre 03 Mar 2005 -- The United Nations envoy seeking the withdrawal of some 14,000 Syrian troops from Lebanon is returning to the region in the next few days, less than a month after his last visit, following an increase in tension sparked by the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.
  • BEIRUT/SYRIA VOA 03 Mar 2005 -- Syria is struggling to save what it can of its interests in Lebanon, as the Lebanese opposition is upping the stakes.
  • EGYPT /ARAB LEAGUE VOA 03 Mar 2005 -- Arab League foreign ministers met in Cairo in preparation for an Arab summit to be held later this month in Algeria. Although the topic was not on their agenda, the foreign ministers spent much of the day discussing the continued presence of Syrian troops in Lebanon. The foreign ministers expressed solidarity with Syria, but also indicated the need for Damascus to pull its troops out of Lebanon.
  • U.S. Anti-Syria Moves under Fire KCNA 03 Mar 2005 -- The United States is blatantly interfering in Syria's internal affairs and contemplating a military aggression against it after groundlessly branding it as a "terrorism sponsor."
  • Rice Says Syria Blocks U.S. Efforts To Effect Change in Mideast Washington File 01 Mar 2005 -- Syria is obstructing U.S. attempts to bring about change in the Middle East through its support for Iraqi insurgents and Palestinian rejectionists and its occupation of Lebanon, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says.
  • Middle East: Pressure Grows For Syrian Withdrawal From Lebanon RFE/RL 02 Mar 2005 -- Syria is coming under growing international pressure over its military presence in Lebanon. Since Lebanon's pro-Syrian government resigned on 28 Febraury, both Paris and Washington have reiterated their calls for Damascus to withdraw its 14,000 troops. In a recent interview with the U.S. news weekly "Time," the Syrian president has promised he can do so "within months, not more." But experts see that remark as a negotiating tactic. They say a withdrawal is unlikely without further pressure -- and possibly a different negotiating approach.
  • BUSH SYRIA VOA 02 Mar 2005 -- President Bush says it is time for Syria to get out of Lebanon. Mr. Bush says the international community is united in ending Syria's military and political presence in Lebanon.
  • ISRAEL / SYRIA VOA 02 Mar 2005 -- Israel is watching closely, as international pressure mounts on Syria to pull its troops out of Lebanon.
  • Al-Assad: Syrian Army to Withdraw from Lebanon in Months VOA News 01 Mar 2005 -- Syrian President Bashar al-Assad says he expects to withdraw his troops from Lebanon in a matter of months.
  • US / SYRIA / IRAN VOA 01 Mar 2005 -- The general who commands all U.S. military operations in the Middle East has accused Iran and Syria of continuing to contribute to the problems in Iraq by facilitating the insurgency and meddling in Iraqi politics.
  • SYRIA / LEBANON VOA 01 Mar 2005 -- Lebanon is in the throes of what some have labeled the Cedar Revolution. Fueling the popular discord there is anger at neighboring Syria, which has long maintained a role in Lebanese affairs, as well as garrisoning troops there. Syria finds itself under increasing international pressure.
  • US / SYRIA VOA 01 Mar 2005 -- The United States has ratcheted up its pressure on Syria, demanding a Syrian pullout from Lebanon and the dismantling of terrorist camps in the southern part of that country.
  • France, U.S. Call for Immediate Syrian Withdrawal from Lebanon Washington File 01 Mar 2005 -- The United States and France issued a joint statement in London March 1 supporting a sovereign Lebanon and calling for the immediate withdrawal of all Syrian military forces and intelligence services from that country.
  • U.S. Demands Syrian Military Withdrawal Before Lebanese Elections Washington File 01 Mar 2005 -- The United States has demanded that Syria withdraw its forces from Lebanon in order to ensure a climate of political freedom for that country's May parliamentary elections, according to Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs David Satterfield.
  • US / LEBANON VOA 01 Mar 2005 -- The United States says Syria needs to get out of Lebanon and let the people there decide their political future through free and fair elections.

February

  • ISRAEL / SYRIA VOA 28 Feb 2005 -- Israel says it has evidence of Syrian involvement in the suicide bombing last Friday that killed five Israelis and wounded dozens more.
  • Syrian President Says Attack By U.S. Possible RFE/RL 28 Feb 2005 -- Syrian President Bashar Assad says in a newspaper interview that he suspects the United States might eventually take military action against Syria.
  • Middle East: Israel Increases Diplomatic Pressure On Syria, Palestinians RFE/RL 28 Feb 2005 -- The Israeli government has launched a diplomatic offensive to increase pressure on Syria and the Palestinians following Friday's suicide bomb attack in the Israeli city of Tel Aviv. The bombing killed five people and is the first serious test of a fragile cease-fire between the Israelis and Palestinians.
  • Middle East: Thousands in Beirut Defy Protest Ban, Call For Syrian Withdrawal RFE/RL 28 Feb 2005 -- Thousands of Lebanese braved rain on 28 February to gather on Beirut's Martyrs' Square to protest Syria's military and political presence in their country.
  • SYRIA/IRAQ TV VOA 25 Feb 2005 -- U.S. officials are reacting cautiously to a videotape of interviews with purported insurgents in Iraq. On the tape, which aired on a U.S.-funded Iraqi television network, some of the men claim to have been trained by Syria to carry out attacks in Iraq.
  • LEBANON/SYRIA VOA 25 Feb 2005 -- Lebanese are watching for signs of Syria's announced troop redeployment. But the latest reports indicate Syrian forces have yet to move from their current positions.
  • LEBANON/SYRIA VOA 24 Feb 2005 -- As diplomatic pressure mounts on Syria to remove its troops from neighboring Lebanon, Syria's Deputy Foreign Minister said Damascus will continue redeploying its troops, there, in accordance with the 1989 Taef Agreement, which put an end to Lebanon's civil war.
  • WASHINGTON PUTS 'INCREASED PRESSURE' ON SYRIA US Dept. of State IIP, Foreign Media Reaction 23 Feb 2005
  • BEIRUT / SYRIA VOA 23 Feb 2005 -- Lebanon's pro-Syrian prime minister signaling he is ready to resign to help restore order in the country. Many Lebanese blame Syria for a huge bomb attack that killed former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and 17 others last week. Syria has denied a role in the Hariri assassination, but tensions are running high.
  • Iraqi Minister Warns Against Attack On Iran, Syria RFE/RL 23 Feb 2005 -- Iraq's interim foreign minister said in remarks published today that any attack on neighboring Iran or Syria could destabilize Iraq, but added that there was no indication the United States would resort to force.
  • Britain Hints At Syrian Involvement In Killing RFE/RL 21 Feb 2005 -- British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw today said that there is a "high level of suspicion" that Syria is involved in the killing of Lebanon's former prime minister Rafiq Hariri.
  • LEBANON / PROTESTS VOA 21 Feb 2005 -- Thousands of demonstrators marched in central Beirut to call for an international investigation into the assassination last week of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri. The massive demonstration also called for the quick removal of Syrian troops in Lebanon, as well as an end to Syrian dominance of the Lebanese government.
  • LEBANON: RAFIQ HARIRI'S 'BRUTAL' MURDER LINKED TO A 'SINISTER' SYRIA US Dept. of State IIP, Foreign Media Reaction 18 Feb 2005
  • Bush Voices U.S. Expectations for Syria Washington File 17 Feb 2005 -- President Bush says he expects Syria to take a number of actions "aimed at making the world more peaceful."
  • BUSH / SYRIA VOA 17 Feb 2005 -- President Bush is urging Syria to pull its forces out of Lebanon and get in step with moves toward democracy in the Middle East.
  • STRELETS IS NOT A TERRORIST WEAPON RIA Novosti 17 Feb 2005 -- Moscow and Tel Aviv are at loggerheads over the planned Russian deliveries of short-range air defense systems to Syria.
  • RUSSIA MAY REFUSE TO SELL STRELETS TO SYRIA RIA Novosti 17 Feb 2005 -- The Russian Defense Ministry is reconsidering selling a Strelets vehicle-mounted launcher for Igla-type air defense missiles to Syria, the ministry's information department announced Wednesday.
  • Middle East: Iran And Syria Pledge Closer Cooperation To Confront 'Challenges' RFE/RL 17 Feb 2005 -- Iran and Syria are pledging closer cooperation in the face of growing pressure on both of them from the United States. It's not clear how close this union will be. The two immediately appeared to backtrack from their initial announcement. Word of the union came as U.S. officials ratcheted up criticism of both.
  • Iran, Syria Counter U.S. Criticism, Cite 'Common Ties' RFE/RL 17 Feb 2005 -- Iran and Syria have presented a united front against what they see as challenges and threats against them.
  • Middle East: Lebanon's Future Depends On Syria, And On Washington's Intentions RFE/RL 17 Feb 2005 -- Events in Lebanon this week have highlighted the volatility of the situation in the Middle East. The assassination on 14 February of Rafiq Hariri, the former Lebanese prime minister and architect of its post-civil-war reconstruction, also demonstrated the complexity of both relations within the region and America's policy toward the region. The scenario is reminiscent of the 1980s, with Lebanon once again looking like a battlefield locked between its larger neighbors and global powers like the United States.
  • Rice Calls Syria 'Big Problem' at Senate Hearing AFPS 16 Feb 2005 -- America's top diplomat today asked the international community to close ranks to stop Syria from meddling in other countries' affairs.
  • White House Report, February 16: Iran, Syria Washington File 16 Feb 2005 -- White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan said reports that Syria and Iran are forming a "united front" against the United States reflect "a fundamental misreading" of the concerns about them.
  • Rice Calls on Syria To Review U.S.-Syrian Relations Washington File 16 Feb 2005 -- Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has called on Syria to review its policies with regard to the United States, Lebanon and Iraq and "try to put our relations on a better path."
  • RUSSIA, SYRIA DISCUSS SALES OF STRELETS AIR DEFENSE SYSTEMS RIA Novosti 16 Feb 2005 -- Russia and Syria are discussing sales of Strelets short-range air defense systems whose deliveries are not subject to any international restrictions, runs the statement of the information and PR department of the Russian Defense Ministry.
  • ISRAEL / SYRIA / LEBANON VOA 16 Feb 2005 -- Israel says it is waging a diplomatic battle to stop Russian missiles from being sold to Syria. Israel's announcement comes amid growing international pressure on Syria following the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.
  • Middle East: UN To Probe Hariri Killing As Diplomatic Pressure Mounts On Syria RFE/RL 16 Feb 2005 -- The UN Security Council has called for an immediate UN investigation into the 14 February bombing that killed former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri. The council also renewed its call for the withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon. U.S. officials said the Syrian presence in Lebanon was a destabilizing factor and recalled the U.S. ambassador from Damascus to protest. Underlying the moves was deep concern about Lebanon's stability as it prepares for national elections in the spring.
  • U.S./SYRIA/ENVOY VOA 15 Feb 2005 -- The United States has recalled its ambassador from Syria following Monday's assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. U.S. officials are not directly blaming Syria for the killing, but they say it undermines the argument that Syrian forces in Lebanon make that country more secure.
  • U.S. Ambassador to Syria Recalled Following Assassination of Hariri Washington File 15 Feb 2005 -- Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has recalled the U.S. Ambassador to Syria Margaret Scobey for urgent consultations following the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, State Department Spokesman Richard Boucher said in a statement February 15.
  • Annan hopes to see start of Syrian troop withdrawal from Lebanon by April UN News Centre 15 Feb 2005 -- United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan said today he hoped that there would be clear signs of a withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon within the next two months.
  • After ex-premier's murder, Security Council underscores Lebanon's sovereignty UN News Centre 15 Feb 2005 -- The United Nations Security Council today called on all parties to cooperate fully in the restoration of the territorial integrity, full sovereignty and political independence of Lebanon and in the fight against terrorism following the assassination yesterday of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.
  • ACCUSATIONS AGAINST SYRIA ARE UNSUBSTANTIATED RIA Novosti 10 Feb 2005 -- The current accusations against Syria are unsubstantiated, Yevgeny Primakov, the president of the Commerce and Industry Chamber, said to RIA Novosti.

January

  • ISRAEL / IRAN / SYRIA VOA 26 Jan 2005 -- Israel is warning of attempts by Syria and Iran to develop nuclear capability along with upgraded missile systems. Although Iran and Syria have rejected the allegations, Israel says the international community must deal with what could turn into a regional and global threat.
  • Russia Criticizes U.S. On Syria RFE/RL 25 Jan 2005 -- Russia's foreign minister today criticized the United States for accusing Syria of alleged ties to terrorists and allowing insurgents to cross its border into Iraq.
  • Rice-Syria-Mideast VOA 18 Jan 2005 -- Secretary of State-designate Condoleezza Rice warned Syria Tuesday it faces a long-term rift with the United States with its links to terrorism and alleged support for the Iraq insurgency. In Senate confirmation hearings, Ms. Rice also urged Arab states to boost aid to the new Palestinian Authority leadership of Mahmoud Abbas.
  • Russia: Moscow Denies Reports Of Missile Talks With Syria RFE/RL 13 Jan 2005 -- Israeli and Russian media reports say Moscow and Damascus are negotiating a deal for Syria to buy missiles from Russia. But yesterday in Washington, visiting Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov denied that any such talks are under way.
  • US / SYRIA / MISSILES VOA 12 Jan 2005 -- The United States Wednesday registered its opposition to a reported pending sale of advanced Russian surface-to-surface missiles to Syria. Such action could lead to U.S. sanctions against Russian exporters.
  • State's Armitage Notes Syria's Control of Iraq Border Improving Washington File 06 Jan 2005 -- Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Syrian Foreign Minister Faruq al-Shara in Damascus, Syria, January 2, to discuss Syria's relations with Iraq and Lebanon, and Syria's potential role in support of the Middle East peace process.
  • US / SYRIA SANCTIONS VOA 05 Jan 2005 -- The Bush administration Wednesday raised the prospect of new sanctions against Syria. U.S. officials say that despite prodding from Washington, the Damascus government has failed to crack down on Iraqis in Syria providing support for the Iraqi insurgency.



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