“Succeeding in Iraq also requires defending its territorial integrity – and stabilizing the region in the face of the extremist challenge. This begins with addressing Iran and Syria.
These two regimes are allowing terrorists and insurgents to use their territory to move in and out of Iraq. Iran is providing material support for attacks on American troops.
We will disrupt the attacks on our forces. We will interrupt the flow of support from Iran and Syria. And we will seek out and destroy the networks providing advanced weaponry and training to our enemies in Iraq.”
It is hard to tell what the implications of this statement are. But my reading of it suggests Iran is at risk of attack, Syria is at risk of further isolation.
This is why. The only direct mention of Syria is here: “We will interrupt the flow of support from Iran and Syria.” Now, interrupting the ‘flow of support’ suggests a diplomatic offensive – putting pressure on the Syrian government.
On Iran, Bush is more direct: : “Iran is providing material support for attacks on American troops. We will disrupt the attacks on our forces.” Here, he blames the Iranian government for American deaths, and threatens to ‘disrupt attacks’ on US forces.
Bush says Syria is backing the insurgency, while Iran is actively helping the attacks.