Syria accuses US of crimes against humanity
The Jerusalem Post

1 April 2003

Ratcheting up the war of words with Washington, Syria on Tuesday called the US-British invasion of Iraq a "fiasco" and suggested American officials be tried for crimes against humanity.

The English-language Syria Times newspaper one of several state-run newspapers said in an editorial that the invasion had proven to be a "major embarrassment" for the US military and has led to anti-US sentiments reaching "unprecedented levels."

"The only way out is to stop the war immediately and hold those responsible for it 'accountable' for their crimes against humanity," the newspaper said.

In a speech Sunday, US Secretary of State Colin Powell said "Syria now faces a critical choice" of whether to continue supporting terrorism "in the dying days" of Saddam Hussein's regime, suggesting it would face grave consequences.

A Syrian Foreign Ministry official responded Monday by saying Syria "has chosen to stand by the Iraqi people who are facing an illegitimate and unjustified invasion."

Commenting on Powell's warning, the Syria Times said Powell had a choice of his own to make: "He can continue direct support for the military in the invasion of Iraq, or he can embark on a different and more hopeful course and quit. ...

"US officials must accept full responsibility for the aggression fiasco," it said. "The war is unjustifiable and illegal." Another Syrian newspaper, the Baath daily, said Syria "does not need (US) advice.

"Syria is standing by itself and its nation by rejecting another aggression in the region," it said.