The US demanded this weekend that Syria shut down militant offices. Syria is pondering its next moves after being told by the United States that it must adapt to the new realities in the Middle East following the Iraq war or face “consequences.” Analysts expect the Syrian regime to agree to some US demands – such as closing the offices of radical Palestinian groups in Damascus, and not interfering in Iraq. But with nothing concrete being offered in return, other demands will be difficult for Damascus to fulfill, such as dismantling Lebanon’s Hizbullah organization. An indication of the difficulties facing the Syrians emerged over the weekend when Hamas and other Palestinian groups denied an assertion by visiting Secretary of State Colin Powell that there “had been some closures” of Palestinian offices in Damascus. Full Story
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