The Syrian government Wednesday pledged to work with the U.S. to help Iraqis, but added it would not close down Palestinian militant groups.
Secretary of State Colin Powell said Monday that the U.S. will consider taking diplomatic or economic measures against Syria, citing concerns that the country has participated in chemical weapons development.
President Bush and other senior U.S. officials called on Syria Sunday not to obstruct the coalition military efforts by taking in fleeing Iraqi officials.
Following new warnings from Secretary of State Colin Powell to stop backing the Iraqi leadership, Syria announced Monday it has chosen to support Iraq against an "illegal" American-led "occupation" of Iraq.
"These deliveries pose a direct threat to the lives of coalition forces. We consider such trafficking as hostile acts, and will hold the Syrian government accountable for such shipments," Rumsfeld said.
Syria on Monday condemned what it said was a coalition bombing of a bus carrying Syrian civilians that killed five and injured ten of the 37 workers on the bus who were returning from Iraq.
Syrian Foreign Minister Farouk al-Sharaa and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak opened historic peace talks Wednesday, trying to work out a land-for-peace deal that would help end 51 years of conflict.
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