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Syrian President Says Attack By U.S. Possible

28 February 2005 -- Syrian President Bashar Assad says in a newspaper interview that he suspects the United States might eventually take military action against Syria.

Assad told the Rome-based daily "La Repubblica" that he has seen the possibility of an attack on his country since the end of the initial invasion in Iraq.

Assad said he does not believe an attack is imminent. But he said "the language used by the White House indicates a campaign similar to the one that preceded the attack on Iraq."

Syria has come under increasing diplomatic pressure from the United States since the assassination of Lebanon's former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. Many opponents of the pro-Syrian government in Lebanon blame Syria, which denies responsibility.

Assad said it would have been "political suicide" for Syria to kill Hariri.

The United States has insisted that Syria withdraw its troops from Lebanon. And today, protesters in Beirut demanded the Lebanese government resign and Syria remove its soldiers.