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Syria thumbs nose at US, supports Iraqis

Ignoring US warning, Syria said it had chosen to back Iraqi people against "illegal" invasion of Iraq.

india Updated: Apr 01, 2003 12:44 IST

Syria said on Monday it had "chosen" to support the Iraqi people against the "illegal" US-British invasion of Iraq, following a new warning against Damascus from US Secretary of State Colin Powell.

"Syria has chosen to align itself with the brotherly Iraqi people who are facing an illegal and unjustified invasion and against whom are being committed all sorts of crimes against humanity," a foreign ministry spokesman said.

Powell said on Sunday that "Syria now faces a critical choice."

"Syria can continue direct support for terrorist groups and the dying regime of Saddam Hussein, or it can embark on a different and more hopeful course," he said.

"Either way, Syria bears the responsibility for its choices, and for the consequences."

Powell, who also warned Iran, said that as part of its "overall strategy in combating terrorism," Washington was "demanding more responsible behavior" from "states that do not follow acceptable patterns of behavior."

Washington considers both Syria and Iran state sponsors of terrorism.

First Published: Apr 01, 2003 00:10 IST