Iraq and Syria tries to stop a civil war

Iraq's prime minister called on Syria on Thursday to block the infiltration of foreign fighters trying to start a civil war. More than a dozen Iraqis, including an Oil Ministry engineer, and two U.S. soldiers, were killed in bombing, shooting and rocket attacks in the ongoing daily bloodshed.

In the day's deadliest incident, a Sunni lawmaker said 10 of his private guards were killed during a chaotic battle with insurgents and Apache helicopter-backed U.S. forces, who he accused of killing several of his aides. The U.S. military said it was investigating the incident, which it called a terrorist attack on al-Jarba's home.

In a message aimed at Syria, Prime Minister &to=http:// ' target=_blank>Ibrahim al-Jaafari said non-Iraqis in neighboring countries filtering across the border were responsible for carrying out ``sabotage activities.''

His government will do its best ``to preserve relations between us and our neighbors, but there are red lines - which are that they don't interfere in our internal affairs, or allow people to cross'' into Iraq, he said after a meeting with visiting U.S. Secretary of State Robert Zoellick, reports the Guardian Unlimited.

According to ABC News, earlier this week, al-Jaafari pledged to use "an iron fist" to prevent an outbreak of sectarian violence which he has accused supporters of Iraq's top al-Qaida terrorist, &to=http:// ' target=_blank>Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, of trying to foment.

Zoellick said he and al-Jaafari discussed the issue of insurgents crossing into Iraq "and he was quite strong in his statements about the need for Iraq's neighbors, and particularly Syria, you know, not to undermine stability here."

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