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July 26, 2005
Iraq Issues Ultimatum To Syria

The new government of Iraq apparently feels sufficiently established to flex its muscle with one of its more intransigent neighbors. Clearly fed up with the uninterrupted flow of terrorists into the Sunni Triangle, the new Iraqi defense minister warned Syria that its interference in Iraq could create a volcano that would flow lava over Damascus:

Iraq's defense minister criticized Syria on Tuesday for ignoring Iraqi demands "to stop the infiltration of terrorists."

The official, Saadoun al-Dulaimi, singled out Iraq's western neighbor as among states that are slack on stopping the flow of militants into his country.

"When the lava of the exploding volcano of Iraq overflows, it will first hit Damascus," al-Dulaimi warned during a news conference to discuss an upcoming nationwide security plan.

He said militants are coming into Iraq from Syria via three routes, with the intent of targeting the Baghdad region.

Syria claims that it is trying to stem the flow of the terrorists, but the United States shares the skepticism of Baghdad. Ever since the fall of the Ba'athis regime, we have known that Bashar Assad provided dead-enders from Saddam's inner circle the sanctuary to conduct their insurgency from inside Syria. Last February, Assad got the message, albeit briefly, when he coughed up Saddam's half-brother. Sabawi Ibrahim al-Hassan funded and directed the ex-Baathist insurgency, but the Zarqawi network apparently still has its Syrian connections.

The fact that Iraq feels strong enough to publicly challenge Damascus tells us two things. First, Baghdad has increasing confidence in its ability to deal with Syria as equals. Second, Baghdad considers Damascus as a much lower threat than it would have before the Syrian retreat from Lebanon. Baghdad hopes to continue to increase its prestige by pushing Assad into further retreat -- and with American backing, that looks pretty realistic. It could be yet another victory in the war on terror -- the isolation of the Assad regime in Damascus.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at July 26, 2005 11:53 AM

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» More Pressure Upon Syria by Iraq from In the Bullpen
Ed Morrisey writes of yet another warning from Iraq to Syria over Syria all but helping terrorists enter Iraq. Sure, this is the first time nor will it be the last time an Iraqi official will warn Syria over this exact item, however it is nonetheless... [Read More]

Tracked on July 26, 2005 2:07 PM

» Iraq Warns Syria from The Strata-Sphere
Ed Morrissey posts on something I have been waiting to hear for a year now - Iraq giving Syria a clear and unmistaken warning to straighten up or Iraq will help them straighten up (with our assistance - of course). Here is the snippet from a cnn arti... [Read More]

Tracked on July 26, 2005 6:15 PM

» Pre-war Iraq and Syria: closer than we thought from Sister Toldjah
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» Iraqi Leaders Read Michael Ledeen from Hard Starboard
Or so I gather from this ultimatum that the democratic regime in Baghdad issued to Boy Assad: Iraq's defense minister criticized Syria on Tuesday for ignoring Iraqi demands "to stop the infiltration of terrorists." The official, Saadoun al-Dula... [Read More]

Tracked on July 27, 2005 1:28 PM

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