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Old 10-05-2003, 07:01 PM   #1
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Israel attacks Syria

Syria asks U.N. to condemn Israel
Sunday, October 5, 2003 Posted: 2240 GMT ( 6:40 AM HKT)


UNITED NATIONS (CNN) -- Syria has called for the U.N. Security Council to condemn Sunday's Israeli airstrike against what Israel called a terrorist training camp inside Syrian territory, but Israel says it acted in self-defense after a suicide bombing that killed 19 people.

Syria, an elected member of the Security Council, requested a special meeting and asked the council to strongly condemn the attack.

Syrian U.N. Ambassador Fayssal Mekdad called the raid an act of "unwarranted aggression" that violated the U.N. charter and the 1974 disengagement agreement that followed the 1973 Mideast war.

He said Syria has exercised "maximum self-restraint," but he accused Israel of trying "to export its current domestic crisis to the entire region."

"Syria is not incapable of establishing a resistance and deterrent balance that would force Israel to reconsider its calculations," Mekdad added.

Syria is tabling a draft resolution, backed by other Arab countries, that asks Israel not to make any further attacks.

Sunday's session initially was to be a closed-door meeting, but was later opened.

But Israeli U.N. Ambassador Dan Gillerman called the airstrike a "measured defensive operation" aimed at a training camp used by Islamic Jihad, a Palestinian militant group the U.S. State Department has designated a terrorist organization.

Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for Saturday's suicide bombing in Haifa, which killed 19 people.

Gillerman said Israel acted in accordance with Article 51 of the U.N. Charter, which allows nations a right of self-defense. And Syria has "put itself in the dock" by calling for Sunday's meeting, he said.

"There are few better exhibits of state sponsorship for terrorism than the one provided by the Syrian regime," he said.

The United States "believes Syria is on the wrong side of the war on terrorism," the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations said.

Ambassador John Negroponte said Washington has clearly urged Damascus to end its support for Palestinian militant groups, but "specific directions for terrorist attacks continue to be issued from terrorist groups based in Syria."

The strike on Syria is the first Israeli attack there since the Yom Kippur war in 1973. Monday is the 30-year anniversary of the Yom Kippur War, when Egypt and Syria attacked Israel on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish calendar.

Imad Moustapha, Syrian charge d'affaires in Washington, accused Israel of "becoming more and more militaristic in its tendencies."

Arab League spokesman Hisham Yousof said Syria had asked the Arab League to meet Sunday night to discuss the situation.

The Ein Saheb camp, deep inside Syria, had been used by "many terror organizations," including Islamic Jihad, for training, the Israel Defense Forces said. But a spokesman from Islamic Jihad in Beirut said the group carried out no military activities in Syria.

Israeli government spokesman Ra'anan Gissin told CNN the camp was 16 kilometers (10 miles) from the Syrian capital Damascus.

"We will take whatever measure is necessary to defend our citizens, regardless of geographical location of these training camps," Gissin said.

Israel, he said, had decided "to enlarge the scope of our operation against the Islamic Jihad and Hamas."

The attack, Gissin said, sent a message to Syria and Iran to end their support for terrorism against Israel.

"We will not tolerate the continuation of this axis of terror between Tehran, Damascus and Gaza to continue to operate and kill innocent men, women and children," he said.

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat told CNN he had called the White House to ask the Bush administration to help de-escalate the latest violence.

The Palestinian Authority has said it does not have the security resources to restrain militant groups such as Hamas or Islamic Jihad. And, even if it did, doing so would cause civil war among Palestinians.

U.S. President George W. Bush telephoned Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon Sunday to offer U.S. condolences on the Haifa suicide bombing and to discuss Israel's retaliatory strike on Syria, a Bush administration official said.

The official said the two men "agreed on the need to avoid heightening tensions in the region at this time."

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak earlier called on the U.S. to restrain Israel and expressed concern the attack could presage a new cycle of violence.

"We condemn what happened today concerning the aggression against a brotherly state under the pretext that some organizations exist there," Reuters quoted Mubarak as saying in a joint news conference with German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.

Schroeder said regional peace efforts "become more complicated when ... the sovereignty of a country is violated. This is why the action in Syria is not acceptable."

And in Moscow, the Russian Foreign Ministry said the terrorist attack on a Haifa restaurant and Israel's retaliatory strike on Syria have created "growing concern and worry."

On its Web site, the ministry said: "It is obvious that such actions will lead to widening of the geographic boundaries of the confrontation."

The United Kingdom said it had urged all sides to exercise restraint. A Foreign Office statement said: "Israel is of course entitled to take steps to protect itself from terrorist attack, but these steps should be within international law.

"Every act makes it more difficult to get back to the peace process."

Mamoun Fandy, an expert on the region at the U.S. Institute for Peace, in Washington, said the situation has left leaders in a tough spot.

"What the Israelis did today is a major move on the strategic chessboard throughout the Middle East, as well as globally," he told CNN. "This move requires a very deliberate reaction, given the high stakes involved."

Fandy said Syrian President Bashar Assad was faced with a particularly tough choice. He "has to respond and put the Middle East on a countdown to hell, or he does not respond, and undermines his own legitimacy internally."

He added: "Everybody's shaking in their boots now. They don't know how to respond to this major bluff."

-- CNN Correspondents Fionnuala Sweeney, Brent Sadler and Rula Amin contributed to this report.

http://edition.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/me...ion/index.html
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Old 10-05-2003, 07:16 PM   #2
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This scares me. It could make a bad situation worse. It seems to me that this may make instability in the region worse, a situation which favors terrorists. Syria borders Iraq. I don't see how possibly destabilizing a government anywhere in the region would make the terrorist threat go away. If the governments could open up and start consultation with their people this might help start democratic processes and stop terrorism.
Just my purple tuppence's worth.
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Old 10-06-2003, 08:49 AM   #3
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From NY Times:

Quote:
Israel Attacks What It Calls a Terrorist Camp in Syria
By GREG MYRE

Published: October 6, 2003

JERUSALEM, Oct. 5 Israel launched a surprise airstrike deep in Syrian territory on Sunday, bombing what it called a Palestinian terrorist training camp to retaliate for a suicide bombing in northern Israel the day before.

The airstrike, a predawn raid at a site outside Damascus, was an abrupt change of military tactics for Israel and was the first Israeli attack inside Syria in 30 years. While Israeli officials described the attack as a measured response, it raised the possibility that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict could widen to neighboring Arab states.

Syria immediately protested the attack. It denied that the bombed site was a terrorist camp and said several people had been wounded. Other Arab nations including Jordan and Egypt condemned the attack, but there was no immediate indication that Arab countries were prepared to do anything more than issue strongly worded protests.

At the United Nations, Syria introduced a resolution at the Security Council to condemn Israel. The Palestinian leader, Yasir Arafat, declared an emergency from his headquarters in the West Bank town of Ramallah, and installed a new government by decree.

Israel's government has threatened to expel Mr. Arafat from the region, and the suicide bombing on Saturday brought renewed calls for his ouster from Israeli officials. But international opposition to such a move is strong, and Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's government has not indicated what action it may take. Israeli officials hinted that the military might impose more restrictions on Mr. Arafat at his compound, but said that it would go no further yet.

During the past three years of Middle East bloodshed, Israel has battled Palestinians only in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Israel had not attacked targets in Syrian territory since the 1973 Middle East war. The 30th anniversary of the beginning of that war is on Monday.

"Israel had to send the message it cannot be repeatedly struck with impunity," said Dore Gold, an adviser to Mr. Sharon.

The air raid came about 14 hours after a Palestinian suicide bomber from Islamic Jihad blew herself up Saturday at a crowded restaurant in the northern port city of Haifa, killing 19 people, both Jews and Arabs.

Israel said the airstrike target, which it identified as the Ain Saheb camp, is about 10 miles northwest of Damascus, and had served as a training ground for several Palestinian factions, including Islamic Jihad and Hamas, the groups behind most of the suicide bombings in Israel.

Syria dismissed the Israeli claim, calling it a civilian facility for Palestinians. Also, Islamic Jihad said it had no "military presence" in Syria.

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command, a radical group that has been largely dormant in recent years, said the base belonged to its organization, but had been deserted for years, according to The Associated Press.

Israeli officials described the air raid as a limited operation and acknowledged it would not diminish Islamic Jihad's overall ability to carry out attacks.

But the officials said Israel wanted to emphasize what they called Syria's role in supporting radical groups. The Palestinians who lead Islamic Jihad and Hamas live in Damascus, though their bombers and gunmen operate from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Hanadi Jaradat, the woman who carried out the bombing, was a 27-year-old lawyer from Jenin, a town in the northern West Bank that is a stronghold for Islamic Jihad.

The Israeli military demolished her family home on Sunday, a practice that Israel calls a deterrent to other would-be attackers.

A senior Israeli security official said Islamic Jihad leaders in Syria played a detailed role in orchestrating Saturday's bombing, and that their involvement contributed to Israel's decision to strike at the target in Syria.

The Israeli military released video footage of the camp in Syria, saying it had appeared on an Iranian television broadcast several months ago. The video showed a man in a military uniform giving a tour of a base with underground rooms and tunnels heavily stocked with weaponry.

Israel was ready to carry out more strikes against Palestinian factions, a senior security officer said, but the officer declined to say whether Syria would again be a target. "You can expect to see more and more Israeli actions in the next few days," he said.

The United States and Israel have long accused Syria of sponsoring terrorism. Syria has been the host to radical Palestinian factions for decades, but says that the groups have only had information offices in Damascus, and that those offices were closed recently in response to demands by the United States. The United States says many Islamic militants fighting American troops in Iraq have come via Syria.

"As a United Nations Security Council member, Syria is supposedly charged with protecting peace and security," said Mr. Gold, the Israeli official. "But it has become the crossroads for terror from Iraq to the Gaza Strip."

Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria in the 1967 Middle East war, and Syria sought to take it back when it joined Egypt for a surprise attack on Israel in the 1973 war.

The two Arab countries struck on Oct. 6, which was Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish year, when Israel completely shuts down. After being caught off guard, Israel regained the initiative and controls the Golan Heights to this day.

Israel and Syria also waged air battles in the 1980's, with Israeli fighter planes delivering decisive blows against Syria's air force.

Syria and Iran back the Lebanese guerrilla group Hezbollah, which fought Israeli troops throughout the 1980's and 1990's. Israel pulled out of southern Lebanon in 2000, but Hezbollah and Israel still periodically trade fire across the border.
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Old 10-06-2003, 10:40 AM   #4
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To get rid of mosquitoes, you have to drain the swamp
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Old 10-06-2003, 10:59 AM   #5
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Yeah, but Jordan, a U.S. ally and moderate Islamic state, condemned the attack. It doesn't help that any of the governments of that region support terrorism. I'm not sure that military attacks will stop terrorist attacks against Israel. I have a friend in Israel and trust me I do not like these attacks on her country. I'm just not sure this is the way to stop them. She is more dovish in her politics than Sharon is.
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Old 10-06-2003, 11:40 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
To get rid of mosquitoes, you have to drain the swamp
That is what the Jews thought when they killed Jezus.By giving him to the romans.
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Old 10-06-2003, 11:45 AM   #7
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I think you've crossed the line with this one.
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Old 10-06-2003, 01:28 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
I think you've crossed the line with this one.
No kidding!

sd
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Old 10-06-2003, 03:35 PM   #9
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I'm not making that comparison, but I'm wholeheartedly condemning Israel's actions. It just creates more instability in the region. They also attacked a sovereign nation with no specific link. Then the Admin. supports them.
I
think all aid should be withheld, especially since they are beginning 600 new setttlements on the West Bank and continuing with the wall, until they sit down for real at the peace table willing to make concessions.

They seem to invitethe retaliation they get (although I no way condone suicide attacks or their methods) when they kill civilians to get one man including children or tear down people's houses, or separate a man from his land. No American would sit back and quietly take it.
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Old 10-06-2003, 03:39 PM   #10
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I hate this wall thing, too. It's a terrible idea.
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Old 10-06-2003, 03:45 PM   #11
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I saw a NWI special on it and they are taking away a lot Palestinian land, separating families, and separating people from their jobs. It just seems a high price to pay for the allusion of safety.
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Old 10-06-2003, 04:02 PM   #12
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Normal

Quote:
Originally posted by Scarletwine
It just seems a high price to pay for the allusion of safety.
A lot easier to say sitting in comfort behind a computer, with no fear of a suicide bomber showing up on your next bus trip or jaunt to the grocery store.
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Old 10-06-2003, 04:15 PM   #13
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I'm not smart enough to figure out what to do about that wall, but the 600 new settlements are blatantly illegal and are directly against everything that road map stands for. They should not be allowed to go forward; there is no excuse for them, and amounts to no more but provocation.

The suicide bombers and terrorists I don't know what to do with either. You can kill a man, but not an idea, as has been shown in this despicable cycle of violence over and over again.
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Old 10-06-2003, 04:39 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by Rono
That is what the Jews thought when they killed Jezus.By giving him to the romans.
This may very well be one of the MOST offesive comments I have seen typed on this board.
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Old 10-06-2003, 04:55 PM   #15
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Israel has the right to defend itself. It would be immoral if Israel sat back and did nothing to stop terrorist operating from Syrian or other territory and let them massacre Israely Civilians. That Israely government would be thrown out in a heartbeat. I remind everyone hear that Israel is a Democracy unlike its neighbors. The people WANT to be defended from terrorist actions. The people want those committing terrorism or helping terrorist in any way brought to justice by any means necessary. People in Israel know what its like to be alone and have the world against them. Many of them know what it is like or their parents knew what it was like to suffer in silence as so many of them did in the 1930s and 1940s in Europe.

Why does Syria allow terrorist organizations to operate from their territory? Why do Humas and Hezbolah target Israely teens in disco's listening to U2? When are Arab's going to realize that the targeting of innocent civilians is never justified. When are they going to realize that their standard of living and lives of them and their childern will never improve as long as they support terrorism against innocent people.

People in Syria have a standard of living of #110. In the Occupied Territories its #98. In Jordon its #90. Its about time Palestinians and Arabs realize that 50 years of terrorism and aggression against Israel by them has accomplished nothing for them and only cost their people lives, money and standard of living.

The only way Palestinians will ever be able to resolve their grievences and problems is if they develop a non-violent movement and end terrorism 100%. It is impossible for them to defeat Israel on the battlefield. Terrorism has only made the situation for them worse not better. But Israel is a democracy and Palestinians must realize that the effective action they could take is non-violent action. Israel is a democracy and is susceptible to such non-violent action.

As it stands now, Israel has one of the highest standards of living in the world, while Palestinians and other Arabs in other countries continue to live in area's that are undemocratic and have a low standard of living. This situation will continue to persist if Palestinians and Arabs continue to view terrorism and the targeting of innocent civilians as a solution to their problems. After 50 years, its time that Palestinians and Arabs developed a strategy of non-violence. Palestinians and Arabs should focus on attacking and destroying terrorist among themselves rather than killing Israely teens in Disco's.

The Israely government and people in the meantime will continue to do what is necessary to defend themselves. The best thing Syria and Palestinians could do is to help Israel round up the terrorist and end this campaign of violence that just recently massacred a place where Jews and Muslims went to eat together.

The Terrorism that Humas and Hezbolah commits in the long run only makes things worse for the people they claim to be fighting for. Israel Standard of living is #22 in the world. The Palestinians in the Occupied Territories have a standard of living that is #98 in the world. That alone should tell Humas and Hezbolah that their strategies are not working and that it is time to adopt and effective strategy, a strategy of non-violence that actually has a chance in achieving the goals of most Palestinians which is independence and a better standard of living for them and their childern.
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