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Heavy-Handed Politics

"€œGod willing, with the force of God behind it, we shall soon experience a world
without the United States and Zionism."€ -- Iran President Ahmadi-Nejad

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Gunmen Try to Take U.S. Embassy in Syria


Associated Press Writer


"Islamic militants attempted to storm the U.S. Embassy in Damascus on Tuesday using automatic rifles, hand grenades and at least one van rigged with explosives, the government said. Four people were killed in the brazen attack, including three of the assailants.

No Americans were hurt, and the attackers apparently did not breach the high walls surrounding the embassy's white compound in the city's diplomatic neighborhood.

But one of Syria's anti-terrorism forces was killed and at least 11 others were injured, the country's official news agency reported. The wounded including a police officer, two Iraqis and seven people employed at nearby technical workshop."Full news story here.

According to the Stratfor report:

The U.S. embassy in Damascus is reported to have come under attack, with reports of heavy gunfire and loud explosions. Security forces have sealed off the Rawda area, which houses other embassies, security installations and senior officials' residences.

The attack was most likely carried out by an al Qaeda-linked cell in Lebanon. Al Qaeda has steadily increased its presence in the Levant in the past several months. Syrian security forces have engaged in shootouts with alleged jihadists in the capital city since the Feb. 14 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik al Hairi. Though these shootouts were largely political in nature, designed to facilitate a dialogue between Washington and Damascus, jihadists have a real incentive to stage attacks in the Levant and target the regime that has offered cooperation to U.S. forces in Iraq against al Qaeda. In the wake of the Lebanon war, a strong need arose in al Qaeda to challenge it's Shiite rival, Hezbollah, for regional fame.


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