September 3, 2003 Special Dispatch No. 565

Syrian Gov't Media: Israel Bombed Baghdad's U.N. Headquarters, Jordanian Embassy, Abu Gharib Prison and Water Main

September 3, 2003
Syria | Special Dispatch No. 565

Shortly after the bombing of the U.N. headquarters in Baghdad (8-19-03) that claimed at least 23 lives – including that of U.N. envoy Sergio de Mello Syria's President Bashar Al-Assad, Foreign Minister Farouq Al-Shar', and Ambassador to the U.N. Faisal Miqdad issued strongly-worded statements of condemnation. A few days later, the Syrian government press began to hint at who, in Syria's view, was behind the bombing: Israel. The following are excerpts from recent articles in the Syrian government daily Teshreen:

Hell's Gates Have Opened

In her regular column in the Syrian government daily Teshreen, [1] Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Dr. Buthaina Sha'aban wrote: "Before the war in Iraq, President Bashar Assad said in an interview with an Austrian newspaper, 'The war in Iraq will open the gates of hell.' Now, we in the Middle East feel that the gates of hell have indeed opened and have begun to consume the best of the people living on this globe and working to make it a better place for the entire human race. The death of Sergio de Mello, the U.N. envoy to Iraq, is one of the greatest, most distressing, and most surprising losses to result from the American occupation of Iraq.

"…The views that de Mello emphasized prove that whoever killed him wanted to thwart this plan – [a plan] which underscores the honor and identity of Iraq and respects the ability of Iraqis to rule their country. Whoever killed de Mello has no consideration for international legitimacy and no respect for the sacred role played by U.N. personnel under conditions such as those now prevailing in Iraq, risking their lives to carry out noble, humanitarian acts and to assist the people… De Mello's death means the death of the resolute views represented by this professional and humane man, and epitomized by his work..."

In Whose Interest Was It?

"In whose interest was the creation of anarchy and destruction in Iraq? In whose interest was [bringing] the loss of security and stability to Iraq and the entire Arab region? Who, through such crimes, works for prolonging the hell for which Arabs are paying with their lives, with their future, and with their children's future?… Why is there talk of the reasons for hatred and animosity [for America] at a time when Israel's largest budget allocations are for besieging the occupied cities, destroying homes, arresting youths, and killing children?…

"De Mello devoted himself to helping the Iraqi people… [but] was killed by a hand with a supreme interest in prolonging this anarchy and destruction. De Mello's murder shows that terror does not discriminate between color, religion, ethnic origin, or nationality. It is, rather, a force of absolute evil, acting against the forces of good, security, and peace. The forces of good and peace in the world must unite today to put an end to this insane and useless killing, so that de Mello and others, who believed in and worked for humanitarianism, will not have died in vain."

The U.N. – A Perpetual Target of Israeli Terror

An editorial in the Syrian government daily Teshreen [2] accused Israel in explicit terms: "The list of Israel's crimes, especially crimes of terror, is long and expansive, and it begins even before the entity's establishment in 1948.

"…It must be mentioned that the U.N. has always been a target for Israeli terror. It did not begin with the murder of the international mediator [Count Folke] Bernadotte in Jerusalem in 1948, and did not end with the aerial attack on U.N. headquarters in Qana [Lebanon] in 1996.

"There is a long list of Israeli attacks and plots against the U.N. and its envoys. Israel has not recognized a single U.N. resolution involving this region, except for the resolution for its own establishment… This is proven in the official positions and famous declarations of Israeli prime ministers and foreign ministers, which hold that U.N. resolutions are not worth the paper on which they are written.

"The U.N., representing international legitimacy, is even now a direct target for Israeli aggression. We cannot help but mention the Zionist Hagana and Lehi gangs, which took it upon themselves to kill everything Arab and everything likely to disrupt the Zionist expansion plan. The heads of these gangs – for example, Menahem Begin, Yitzhak Shamir, and Ariel Sharon – began their lives by killing and shedding blood, destroying villages, and scorning and banishing the Palestinian people…

"Does the current Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, not represent the head of crime in the region and the world?… He is one of the Israeli prime ministers with the strongest hatred for the U.N….

"Who can say that what happened at the U.N. headquarters in Baghdad was not by the hands of the Zionist gangs, represented by the Israeli occupation army, and by the intelligence apparatuses headed by the Mossad, which has committed similar crimes against countries, governments, and international figures in the past?" [3]

Israeli Terror in Baghdad

Another Teshreen [4] editorial blamed Israel for other recent terrorist acts in Iraq: "…The first act was the bombing of the Jordanian embassy in Baghdad using the familiar Israeli method of a booby-trapped car… The second act was the bombing of the Abu Gharib prison, in which dozens of prisoners were killed and wounded. The third act was two motorcyclists' bombing of the Baghdad water main…

"Such acts have one aim: to prove that the resistance is sowing destruction among the Iraqi people and against the Arab brethren and the U.N…

"There is no doubt that Israel faces security dangers from Hizbullah in Lebanon and from resistance factions in the West Bank and Gaza. To prove the validity of his claims, Sharon has complicated the situation, thus also providing a cover for the aerial bridge that brought Mossad members and equipment to Baghdad. This Zionist unit hastened to act, beginning with the bombing of the Jordanian embassy."

[1] Teshreen (Syria), August 24, 2003.

[2] Teshreen (Syria), August 24, 2003.

[3] Lebanese Foreign Minister Jean Obeid made similar comments: "When a robbery or murder takes place, we ask who has a history [of these sorts of acts] or an interest [in them]. The Israelis oppose the U.N. resolutions, and they are almost outside it. ..The history of the Israelis, from Count Bernadotte to [former U.N. secretary-general Dag] Hammarskjold and the circumstances of his death, speaks for itself… They have an interest in weakening the U.N. and putting themselves in its place, outside the bounds of international law and international resolutions." Al-Safir (Lebanon), August 23, 2003.

[4] Teshreen (Syria) August 25, 2003.

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