Syria allows Palestinian groups to resume operations
Syria has allowed Palestinian groups such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad to resume operations in the country, despite repeated warnings from Washington not to do so. The groups were reported to have scaled down their activities during the summer after the Bush administartion had put pressure on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the weeks following the fall of the Iraqi leader, Saddam Hussein. American and Israeli intelligence sources have warned, however, that the groups had begun to return to their offices in Damascus, and are now fully operational again.
The sources said the Syrians were providing different levels of sponsorship and support to at least seven organizations that appear on a list released by Americaâs Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism in October 2001. According to an Israeli intelligence source, Hamas now has two or three offices in Damascus, led by Imad al-Alami, the chairman of a key Hamas committee. âAl-Alami co-ordinates, finances and orchestrates suicide attacks in Israel,â the source said. The Palestinian Islamic Jihad also operates an office in the city, headed by Abdallah Ramadan Shalah, who finances and commands the groupâs activities.
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Posted by: Fred Pruitt 2003-09-23