Syria Training al Qaeda Militants
Alsumaria Iraqi Satellite TV Network reports that relations between Iraq and Syria will not improve until Syria hands over suspects thought to have plotted recent bombings in Baghdad who are present currently in Damascus.
“Our relations with Syria have reached a crossroads of whether they choose to have good relations with Iraq, or whether they choose to protect persons who attack Iraq,” Iraqi Cabinet spokesman Ali Al Dabbagh said.
On several occasions, Iraq has presented Syria with a list of people it says have plotted attacks in Iraq, he explained.
“The Iraq government has asked for a long time that these people be handed over. The list was given a few times during bilateral security committees but we always received evasive answers. Iraq will not accept this kind of situation”, Ali Al Dabbagh added.
According to Reuters, Iraq aired a videotaped confession from a suspected al Qaeda militant Sunday who accused Syrian intelligence agents of training foreign fighters like himself in a camp before sending them to fight in Iraq.
Mohammed Hassan al-Shemari said that when he arrived in Syria from Saudi Arabia, he was met by a militant who took him to an al Qaeda training camp in Syria. The head of the camp was a Syrian intelligence agent called Abu al-Qaqaa, he said.
“They taught us lessons in Islamic law and trained us to fight. The camp was well known to Syrian intelligence,” he said.
Reuters indicated that Iraq and Syria recalled their ambassadors last week after Baghdad demanded Damascus hand over two militants suspected of masterminding bombings in Baghdad that killed almost 100 people.