Palestinians rallying in Damascus (AP)
American officials want Syria to stop the mujahedin from entering Iraq.
WASHINGTON (AP) – After new violence that flared near the Iraqi border with Syria left five Marines dead, the U.S. military’s top general urged Damascus to do more to cut the flow of foreign fighters entering Iraq.
The warning Sunday from Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, came as the U.S. effort in Iraq suffered a setback when the new Spanish prime minister, fulfilling a campaign pledge, said he would withdraw the 1,300-member Spanish military contingent as soon as possible. …
The battle Saturday on the Syrian-Iraqi border, in an area that had seen little fighting previously, left at least 25 Iraqis dead. Myers said the stability not only of Syria and Iraq, but also of the entire region is at stake.
“We know that the pathway into Iraq for many foreign fighters is through Syria. It’s a fact. We know it. The Syrians know it,” Myers told CNN’s “Late Edition.”
“The Syrians need to take this situation very seriously. They need to help us stop that infiltration of foreign fighters. It doesn’t do their government any good.”
Syria has rejected claims it is allowing militants into Iraq. It says it is responsible for official crossing points between it and Iraq but acknowledges it does not have full control over the long, porous border.