For the second time in a week, the Iraqi government publicly broadcast a confession on state television which accused the Syrian government of supporting militants responsible for attacks against Iraq, further raising the stakes in the increasing diplomatic row between the two neighbors.
Last Sunday, the military brought out a Ba’athist who claimed to have been living in Syria for years, and who claimed responsibility for one of the major coordinated truck bombings the week prior in Baghdad. The confession was drawn into considerable question however, when al-Qaeda claimed they, and not the Ba’athists, did the bombings.
This week, the captive was a “suspected al-Qaeda militant” who insisted that he too had been living in Syria. Not only that, he claimed to have received training at an al-Qaeda camp inside Syria, that was being operated by a Syrian intelligence agent.
Syria and Iraq recalled their respective ambassadors last week following the first confession, and a demand from Iraqi officials that Syria hand over high-ranking Ba’athist officials. The new accusation significantly ups the ante, however, as they not only accused Syria of direct support for terrorists, but they alleged that the nation was operating al-Qaeda training camps, an claim which if supported with any evidence would have enormous ramifications.
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