The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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‘Smoking gun’ threat to Syria

London, April 12 (Reuters): Pentagon adviser Richard Perle, a key architect of the US-led drive to topple Saddam Hussein, said in remarks published today Syria would be a possible military target if it was found harbouring Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.

In an interview with the International Herald Tribune, Perle said that if such weapons were found on Syrian soil “I’m quite sure we would have to respond to that”.

“It would be an act of such foolishness on Syria’s part,” Perle said. “Our first approach would be to demand that the Syrians terminate that threat by turning over anything they have come to possess and failing, that, I don’t think anyone would rule out the use of any of our full range of capabilities.”

US defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld has accused Syria of transporting military equipment to its neighbour Iraq and described its support for Saddam’s rule as a “hostile act”.

Washington launched its invasion of Iraq three weeks ago to uncover and destroy alleged weapons of mass destruction, including biological and chemical agents. No firm evidence of such weapons has been found yet.

But Perle said he did not doubt Iraq possessed such weapons.

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