Iraq: February 28, 2005

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Syria, bowing to Iraqi and American pressure, gave up one of the Iraqi Baath Party officials they have been providing sanctuary for. Sabawi Ibrahim al Hassan is the half brother of Saddam Hussein, and was his chief of Intelligence. Al Hassan was believed to be one of the Baath Party officials hiding out in Syria, who were planning and supporting anti-government violence in Iraq. Al Hassan was number 36 on the list of 55 "most wanted" Iraqi leaders and henchmen of Saddam. The Syrians apparently rounded up al Hassan and 29 of his followers, who were operating out of  the Syrian town of  Hasakah, and took them to the border and handed them over to Iraqi border guards.

It's unclear why Syria has finally folded under pressure to surrender the Saddam followers it was sheltering. Most likely it was because Syria was under pressure from Lebanon (to get its troops out of Lebanon), Israel (to stop supporting terrorism inside Israel) and Iraq (to stop supporting terrorism inside Iraq.) Syria has been known to respond to enough pressure. A few years back, Turkey wanted some Kurdish separatists terrorists hiding out in Syria. Turkey moved troops to the Syrian border and threatened to invade. Syria promptly gave up the Kurds. 

 

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