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SYRIA - The Iraq Factor.

At a news conference in Baghdad on March 1, Iraq's Interim Defence Minister Hazem Al-Sha'lan provided new details about the recent capture of one of Saddam's half brothers, Sab'awi Ibrahim Al-Hassan, accused of playing a major role in organising and financing the anti-US insurgency in Iraq out of Syria. Sab'awi was captured by Iraqi and allied soldiers, Sha'lan said, not by Syrian forces, as Iraqi officials had said on Feb. 27.

The Syrians provided the information which led to Sab'awi's capture, he added. He refused to say where Sab'awi had been captured or to provide any more information about his arrest, saying simply that it was a "small operation" in which Iraqi special forces and allied troops had co-operated.

On March 3, The New York Times said: "Syria's decision to effect the turnover of Saddam Hussein's half brother and 29 other Iraqi Baathists did not come primarily in response to American jawboning over Iraq. Rather, it was prompted by Syria's interest in deflecting the mounting criticism of its role in Lebanon".
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Publication:APS Diplomat Fate of the Arabian Peninsula
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:7SYRI
Date:Mar 7, 2005
Words:171
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