“French observers close to the Syrian file said that Bush asked [Syrian] President [Bashar] Assad for additional work to stop illegal penetrations into the Iraqi territories, which is an indirect confession that Syria is cooperating, but that it has not accomplished all that it was asked to do.”
“[The US Ambassador in Iraq] Khalilzad got to a point where he demanded that Syria stop Saudis, Yemenis and Algerians from using the Damascus International Airport; but he did not ask the home countries of these volunteers to do anything.
“The length of the Syrian-Iraqi border is 592 kilometers, with, according to Syrian documents, 5,500 Syrian soldiers deployed at 50 border checkpoints. The Syrian authorities arrested 1,251 people trying to infiltrate the borders. What more does the US administration want?
“The Arab fighters, according to official American statistics amount to no more than 5 percent of the total resistance, whereas the absolute majority are from Iraq.
“The Iraqi-Syrian borders have two sides: one of them is Syrian and the other is Iraqi. And America has 150,000 soldiers in Iraq, and an equal number or even more of National Guard soldiers, Peshmerga, and Badr forces. So why are these forces not crowded on the borders with Syria to prevent infiltration, if the problem is exclusive to infiltrators?
“One last word to the Iraqi officials who are wildly attacking Syria and advocating [America’s stance] against it, which is that the only Arab country which honored and helped them when they were Arab rejects was Syria. Most notably of those [attacking Syria] are Mr. Abdelaziz al-Hakim, the new king-maker in Iraq, its interior minister Bayan Jabbir, and finally the Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, who until recently was roaming the world with a Syrian diplomatic passport.”