As the Obama
Bush administration tries to prod Congress into backing armed action against Syria Iraq, the regime in Damascus Bagdad is hiding military hardware and shifting troops out of bases into civilian areas.
Politically, President Bashar Assad
Saddam Hussain has gone on the offensive, warning in a rare interview with Western media that any military action against Syria Iraq could spark a regional war.
If the U.S. opts for missile strikes, Assad’s
Hussain’s reaction could have a major effect on the trajectory of Syria’s Iraq’s civil war. Neighboring countries could get dragged into a wider conflict, or it could be back to business as usual for a crisis that has claimed the lives of more than 100,000 people over 2 1/2 years.
The main Western-backed opposition group says that during the buildup last week to what seemed like an imminent U.S. attack, the army moved troops as well as rocket launchers, artillery and other heavy weapons into residential neighbourhoods in cities nationwide. Three Damascus
Bagdad residents, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals, confirmed such movements.
One man said two members of the elite Republican Guards broke into an empty house he owns and showed him an official document stating they were authorized to do so because Syria is at war. A woman in another area said soldiers moved into a school next to her house.
That trend is likely to continue in the coming days after the regime won a reprieve following President Barack Obama’s
Bush’s decision to seek congressional approval for military action.
“The Syrian Iraqi regime knows there are 30-40 potential targets for U.S. airstrikes, and they have had ample time to prepare,” said Hisham Jaber, a retired Lebanese army general and director of the Middle East Center for Studies and Political Research in Beirut. “Half of them, if not more, have been evacuated, moved or camouflaged. This is the natural thing to do.”
via Syria is said to be hiding weapons, shifting troops; it has a range of options if US attacks.