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Mr. ENGEL. Additional photos and closeups are on the www.globalsecurity.org page. I would urge my colleagues to turn to that to get that information. Now even with all this damming evidence about the threat Damascus poses to the U.S. and the world, American diplomats suggest that now is not the time to get tough with Syria. The reasons they give vary, but the most common is that Syria has supposedly helped the U.S. in our war on terror.

But I would say, with all due respect, Mr. Chairman, Damascus is, at best, two-faced—throwing a few small bones of information to American sources, while continuing to aid the most violent terrorist groups in the Middle East.

This is certainly not an acceptable deal in the post-9–11 world. Syria must be put on alert that we are not fooled by their doubledealing. In our view there are four critical criteria that Syria must meet before our countries can return to normal relations.

First, and foremost, Syria must end its support for terrorism. I can think of nothing more important in the post-9–11 era. It must close the offices of the Palestinian terror groups in Damascus and clean out the Lebanese Bekaa Valley-a hornet's nest of the most deadly terrorist groups in the world. They can do this if they want to. They have shown no desire to do so.

Syria must end all contacts with al-Qaeda; stop harboring Hezbollah, a violent terrorist group and other terrorist groups, and come into full compliance with U.N. Security Council Resolution 1373, which directs all countries to fight terror.

Secondly, and very importantly, Syria must withdraw its armed forces from Lebanon. U.N. Security Council Resolutions 425 and 520 call for the removal of all foreign forces from Lebanon, and the strict respect for Lebanese sovereignty. The Lebanese people have a right to have their own government and their own nation and their own country without the strangle hold of Syrian troops occupying that country, in essence, making Lebanon no more than a puppet regime of Syria.

The U.N. has certified Israel's withdrawal from Lebanon, but the Syrian occupation remains, stealing from Lebanon its national wealth and political independence. As long as Syria continues its occupation, Lebanon will remain the only satellite state left in the world; one which will be doomed to be the world's hot bed of terror.

Mr. Chairman, and my colleagues, it's time to let the Lebanese run Lebanon. It's time for Syria to get out. It is incomprehensible that Syria became the President of the Security Council of the U.N. while occupying another country, and I'm sorry to say, without even a peep out of the Administration.

Mr. Chairman, on that point, I and almost 40 Members, including yourself, wrote to President Bush opposing Syria becoming the President of the Security Council. We didn't receive a response, but it's something that I think we should continue to emphasize.

Thirdly, Syria must halt development and procurement of weapons of mass destruction, and ballistic missiles. The Administration has correctly cited, as a cause for concern, the combination of Iraq's SCUD missiles and their weapons of mass destruction. The President has mentioned that as a concern, and I fully agree with him.

But we should be equally concerned with the Syrian force of hundreds of SCUD missiles topped with unconventional warheads that could also reap unspeakable destruction.

Finally, and of pressing importance to the United States, Syria must halt violations of United Nations arms and oil sanctions against Iraq. As the international community considers a major military operation against Saddam Hussien, Syria's delivery of weaponry to Iraq directly and immediately undermines American national security interests.

Indeed, Syria's illegal exports of 150,000 barrels of Iraqi oil per day have provided the substantial hard currency Saddam Hussein needs to purchase Syrian weapons; weapons that soon could be used against American and other soldiers.

As the Syrian threat increases, it has been our hope that the Administration would respond with a new policy toward Damascusone that gets tough on the Syrian violations and sets clear conditions for Damascus to meet. That's what this bill does.

Until the Administration does this, our own war on terror and national security are diminished every day.

In closing, I would like to share one more quote from President Bush's U.N. speech.

“If an emboldened regime were to supply weapons of mass destruction to terrorist allies, then the attacks of September 11th

would be a prelude to far greater horrors.” That's our President, and I agree with him. As an American and a New Yorker, I do not want to witness horrors worse than 9–11. I urge the Administration to get tough on Syria. I thank you, Mr. Chairman, for holding this hearing today. I thank our Majority Leader for sponsoring this bill with me, and I think it's time for us in Congress to make a forceful statement and to move forward.

We will not tolerate Syrian support for terrorism. We will not tolerate Syrian occupation of Lebanon. We will not tolerate Syria making weapons of mass destruction; and we will not tolerate Syria's lack of compliance with the oil embargo against Iraq.

This bill will make sure that Syria is brought into compliance, or it will pay the price. I thank you, Mr. Chairman.

[The prepared statement of Mr. Engel follows:] PREPARED STATEMENT OF THE HONORABLE ELIOT L. ENGEL, A REPRESENTATIVE IN

CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF NEW YORK Mr. Chairman and members of the Subcommittee, the people of the United States are beginning a serious debate about undertaking a military campaign to affect a regime change in Iraq. Not only did Iraq occupy Kuwait in 1990, but it is on the State Department's list of terrorist nations, is developing weapons of mass destruction, and consistently violates the United Nations Security Council sanctions adopted at the end of the Gulf War.

Yet, while Iraq rightfully remains a national priority, we are overlooking another country which is committing comparable violations. This country is playing a similarly destabilizing role in the Middle East. This country is Syria.

Syria has been on the State Department's terrorist list since the inception of the list in 1979; it has occupied and controlled Lebanon for over two decades with 25,000 troops under the guise of maintaining peace between Lebanese factions; it possesses an expanding fleet of Scud missiles which can deliver its arsenal of chemical weapons; and, it is in serious violation of the oil and arms sales sanctions against Iraq.

While we have no conclusive evidence of ties between Iraq and al Qaeda, ties between Syria and al Qaeda are widely reported. According to the highly-regarded journalist Ze'ev Schiff, Syria recently allowed 150–200 al Qaeda operatives to enter a Palestinian refugee camp.

In fact, terrorist groups that thrive within Syria and Syrian-occupied Lebanon have taken American lives. In 1983, Hezbollah killed 241 U.Š. Marines in a terrorist attack near Beirut and killed many more in the bombing of the U.S. embassy annex the following year. Yet, today, Damascus continues to allow Iran to supply Hezbollah with weapons. According to Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, "Hezbollah may well be the A-team of terrorists, maybe al Qaeda is actually the Bteam on the reserve bench.”

The threat of collusion between these terrorist groups and the government of Syria must be addressed forcefully-especially because of Syria's arsenal of weapons of mass destruction. At the U.N. last week, President Bush said, “our greatest fear is that terrorists will find a shortcut to their mad ambitions when an outlaw regime supplies them with the technologies to kill on a massive scale.” He meant this about Iraq, but it applies just as well to Syria.

Undersecretary of State John Bolton said in May, “We are concerned about Syrian advances in its indigenous chemical weapons infrastructure and believe Syria is pursuing development of biological weapons and is able to produce at least small amounts of biological warfare agents.” I share his concern.

The following commercially-available images, released by Global Security.org, show the Syrian Al Safir chemical weapons plant and Scud missile base protected by a surface to air missile site, near the northern Syrian city of Aleppo. Mr. Chairman, I would like to take a minute to run the Subcommittee through a few of these satellite photos:

• (#1) First is a regional map showing where the Al Safir Chemical Weapons

base is. • (#2) Second and (#3) third are two maps: This Russian topographical map

from 1987 shows the Al Safir base. The Syrian map from 1994 of the same location-omits the base. My apologies to President Assad for exposing his

nasty secret. • (#4) Fourth, is an overview of the Al Safir base showing the chemical weapons

plant, Scud base, and surface-to-air missile site.

• (#5) The fifth photo shows tunnel entrances large enough to hide a Scud mis

sile on its enormous Soviet-built MAZ-543 transporter. • Additional photos and close-ups are on the www.GlobalSecurity.Org page. Even with all this damning evidence about the threat Damascus to the U.S. and the world, American diplomats suggest that now is not the time to get tough with Syria. The reasons they give vary, but the most common is that Syria has helped the U.S. in our war on terror.

But, Damascus is at best two-faced, throwing a few small bones of information to American sources while continuing to aid the most violent terrorist groups in the Middle East. This is not an acceptable deal in the post 9/11 world. Syria must be put on alert that we are not fooled by their double-dealing. In our view, there are four criteria that Syria must meet before our countries can return to normal relations.

First and foremost, Syria must end its support for terrorism. It must close the offices of the Palestinian terror groups in Damascus and clean out the Lebanese Bekaa Valley-a hornets nest of the most deadly terrorist groups in the world. It must end all contacts with al Qaeda, stop harboring Hezbollah and other terrorist groups, and come into full compliance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1373 which directs all countries to fight terror.

Second, Syria must withdraw its armed forces from Lebanon. United Nations Security Council Resolutions 425 and 520 call for the removal of all foreign forces from Lebanon and the strict respect for Lebanese sovereignty. The U.N. has certified Israel's withdrawal, but the Syrian military occupation remains, stealing from Lebanon its national wealth and political independence. As long as Syria continues its occupation, Lebanon will remain the only satellite state left in the world, one which will be doomed to be the world's hotbed of terror. It's time to let the Lebanese run Lebanon.

It is incomprehensible that Syria became the President of the Security Council while occupying another country-without even a peep out of the Administration. Mr. Chairman, on that point, I and almost 40 members, including yourself, wrote to President Bush, opposing Syria becoming the President of the Security Council. We never received a response.

Third, Syria must halt development and procurement of weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles. The current Administration has correctly cited as a cause for concern the combination of Iraq's Scud missiles and their weapons of mass destruction. We should be equally concerned with a Syrian force of hundreds of Scud missiles topped with unconventional warheads—that could also wreak unspeakable destruction.

Finally, and of pressing importance to the United States, Syria must halt violations of United Nations arms and oil sanctions against Iraq. As the international community considers a major military operation against Saddam Hussein, Syria's delivery of weaponry to Iraq directly and immediately undermines American national security interests. Indeed, its illegal exports of 150,000 barrels of Iraqi oil per day have provided the substantial hard currency Saddam needs to purchase Syrian weapons-weapons that soon could be used against American soldiers.

As the Syrian threat increases, it has been our hope that the Administration would respond with a new policy toward Damascus; one that gets tough on the Syrian violations and sets clear conditions for Damascus to meet. Until it does, our own war on terror and national security are diminished everyday.

In closing, I would like to share one more quote from President Bush's U.N speech: “If an emboldened regime were to supply (weapons of mass destruction] to terrorist allies, then the attacks of September the 11th would be a prelude to far greater horrors.” As an American and a New Yorker, I do not want to witness horrors worse that 9/11. I urge the Administration to get tough on Syria.

Mr. GILMAN. Well, we want to thank you, Mr. Engel, for producing this measure, for co-sponsoring it with our Majority Leader, Mr. Armey. We thank you for your analysis that you presented before the Committee. I have just one question, then I will turn to my colleagues.

It was in February 2001 that Secretary of State Powell said he had a commitment from President Assad to bring the Iraqi oil shipments under the U.N.-approved Oil-for-Food Program. Has Syria made any moves in that direction? If not, why has our Administration appeared to tolerate that violation of these kinds of sanctions that the U.N. has imposed on the part of Syria and Iraq?

Mr. ENGEL. Well, as far as we can see, there has been no movement by Syria to change its ways. In fact, quite the opposite, Syria is continuing to violate everything that the Administration says it wants to see in fighting the war on terror and in fighting the problems in Iraq.

I don't know why our State Department is turning a blind eye. We keep hearing that now is not the time, and I say, Mr. Chairman, if now is not the time, when will the time be?

As the Majority Leader pointed out, Syria is the only country on the State Department's list of countries which support terrorism with which we have normal diplomatic relations. I don't understand why, and I think it's time to send a very, very strong message to Syria that we won't tolerate these violations any further.

Mr. GILMAN. Thank you, Mr. Engel. Mr. Ackerman?

Mr. ACKERMAN. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I have an opening statement that I would like to put into the record if there is no objection.

Mr. GILMAN. Without objection.

Mr. ACKERMAN. I thank Mr. Engel for his leadership on this, together with the Majority Leader, and for making so eloquent and strong a statement.

I have a question about what you tried to do at the beginning of your statement, which was objected to in an unusual occurrence, I think. I can't remember the last time when a Member objected to a Member placing something in the record.

But were you referring to the article in Haaretz, the headline of which was “Syria has allowed hundreds of al-Qaeda men to settle in Lebanon,” and which begins:

"Damascus has allowed some 150 to 200 al-Qaeda operators to settle in the Palestinian refugee camp on Ein-Hilweh near Sidon in Lebanon.

“The group including senior commanders arrived from Afghanistan to Damascus and Iran and directly to Lebanon. These Qaeda operatives are responsible, among other things, for the latest outbreak of fighting inside the refugee camp as part of the effort to take over the camp. These details and others have lately been gathered by various intelligent services.

"Among the new details now known, Mohammed Atta, leader of Qaeda group that conducted the September 11th airplane suicide attacks on the twin towers in New York, flying the first plane into the towers, visited Syria twice or three times. The Syrians did not give that information to the American of their

own volition. Osma Bin Laden's son, Omar, left Syria-
Mr. Issa. Would the gentleman yield?
Mr. GILMAN. Without objection.
Mr. ACKERMAN [continuing).

"Three weeks before the attack on the twin towers after receiv

ing anonymous instructions to do so.” Is that the article that begins that way?

Mr. ENGEL. Yes, it is.

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