[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Languages
Last Updated: Sunday, 25 January, 2004, 18:08 GMT
Syria denies receiving Iraq arms
US soldier at suspected Iraqi weapons site
Saddam Hussein's alleged arsenal remains elusive
Syria has strongly denied allegations that it has been harbouring Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.

The charge that part of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programme went to Syria before the war came from the ex-head of the US weapons inspection team.

David Kay said former Iraqi officials had given evidence that materials had been moved across the border.

However Syrian Information Minister Ahmad al-Hassan said the allegations were "baseless deception and lies".

The minister told reporters in Damascus that the US was seeking to cover up its failure to find any weapons stockpiles in Iraq, despite using them as a pretext for last year's war.

'Unresolved'

The accusations by Mr Kay came in an interview published in Britain's Sunday Telegraph newspaper.

"We are not talking about a large stockpile of weapons," he told the paper.

"But we know from some of the interrogations of former Iraqi officials that a lot of material went to Syria before the war, including some components of Saddam's WMD programme.

"Precisely what went to Syria, and what has happened to it, is a major issue that needs to be resolved."

Mr Kay resigned on Friday as leader of the Iraq Survey Group and has been replaced by Charles Duelfer.

Ten months after the US-led war in Iraq that toppled Saddam Hussein, the team in charge of the search for banned weapons has yet to find them.

On Saturday, US Secretary of State Colin Powell cast doubt on the existence of weapons stockpiles in Iraq, saying it was an "open question" whether they existed.




RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific