U.S.- Syria: military, diplomatic or economic action are possible

The Bush administration Tuesday brushed aside a Syrian statement that it has severed military and intelligence cooperation with Washington because of what it says is an unfair U.S. media campaign against it. The State Department said Syrian cooperation on Iraq and other issues was minimal and sporadic.

Officials here are openly dismissive of Syrian suggestions there had been meaningful cooperation on such issues as curbing cross-border traffic of money and fighters for the Iraqi insurgency.

Syrian Ambassador to Washington Imad Mustapha, in interviews with the New York Times and CNN, said his government in the last 10 days had severed all links with the U.S. military and &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/world/2002/09/18/36853.html ' target=_blank>Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) because of what he said were unjust U.S. allegations.

The Syrian envoy asserted that Damascus had provided the United States with important counter-terrorism help following the September 2001 attacks against the United States, and had worked hard to secure its long border with Iraq, informs VOA News.

According to Reuters, relations between Syria and the United States have been strained for months, and some Bush administration officials said Syria's level of cooperation had been dwindling even before the latest move to halt cooperation.

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