Washington's political war on Syria, Takrit negotiates and fight; vagueness in al-Najaf
Iraq-USA, Politics, 4/14/2003
American officials including President George Bush, the secretary of state Colin Powel and the defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld have escalated their political campaign against Syria. They repeated accusations against Damascus of supporting the regime of Saddam Hussein before it fell and of providing weapons and volunteers to Iraq. They also repeated their warning to Damascus not to harbor the former Iraqi leaderships, but expected Syria to implement their demands.
It was noted that the US administration did not limit its accusations against Syria to the Iraqi issue as used to be during the few past years, but also re-opened old files including the issue of " supporting terrorism" and "developing mass destruction weapons." The US administration also opened a new file on the "Syrian occupation of Lebanon."
Meantime, the American forces yesterday entered the outskirts of Takrit where fierce fighting took place with Iraqi fighters positioned in it, while news reports talked about negotiations between the American troops and the city's tribes who stressed their readiness to hand over the city but under pretext to not steal and not to deploy any of the opposition forces into it.
During the two past days, the American occupation forces resorted to local citizens and formed people's commissions to keep security and order in al-Musel and Baghdad clashes continued yesterday and resulted in killing one American soldier and wounding other six.
The most remarkable of these clashes happened Sunday late night until Monday dawn time near Palestine Hotel in the downtown of Baghdad where a fierce fight took place that lasted for one and a half hours during which the occupation forces used light bombs.
The results of the American occupation started to result in more conflicts inside the Iraqi society especially inside the Shiite community as vagueness prevailed in the city of al-Najaf following reports on besieging the house of the Shiite scholar Ayatullah Ali al-Seistani by supporters of Muqtada Muhammad al-Sader and threatening him to leave Iraq. A matter which was denied by al-Sader's representative, just days following the assassination of the chairman of al-Khuei foundation of Abdul Majeed al-Khuei at the hands of who were said to be supporters of Muqtada al-Sader.
At a time when Iraqi opposition leaderships are preparing to meet tomorrow under the American occupation patronage in al-Nasireyah city, the leading figure at the Iraqi National Congress Ahmad al- Jalabi had decided as since from now the objectives of the coming phase "removing Baathism" from Iraq. A step on which most of the opposition trends agree and represents an announced slogan for the USA in the context to getting rid off Hussein's legacy.
Al-Jalabi announced he will not take part in al-Nasiriyah meeting rather "will delegate a representative for myself." The US had asked the participants to give their vision on the provisional Iraqi authority and the meeting will last for one day and a statement will be issued at its conclusion.
However, despite the American escalation against Syria, the prevailing opinion in the circles of analysts is that Washington will meet great difficulty in convincing the American public opinion as well as the world public opinion to that Syria constitutes "a clear and direct danger" as it had succeeded with Iraq and this if for many reasons, including the absence of any international or legal cover ( like UN Security Council resolutions concerning Iraq), in addition to a vast European rejection including Britain.