Examine the history of U.S.-Syria relations
April 14, 2003
Web posted at: 10:54 PM EDT (0254 GMT)
Overview: With most of Iraq under the control of coalition forces, the White House has ratcheted up pressure on Syria, which borders western Iraq. Washington accuses Syria of allowing retreating Iraqi officials to hide there. And Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says that Syria has experimented with weapons of mass destruction "over the past 12 to 15 months." The Syrian foreign minister responded by calling the U.S. accusations baseless.
After students read "Major battles apparently over in Iraq" present the following questions:
1. According to the Pentagon, what is the status of the war in Iraq? Why is the Bush administration concerned about Syria? What allegations has the U.S. made against Syria? How has Syria responded to these allegations? How many American POWs headed back to the U.S. yesterday? What discovery did U.S. troops make in Karbala on Monday?
2. Have students conduct research and prepare presentations on the history of relations between the U.S. and Syria since the Gulf War. Have students create a timeline of their findings. Then ask: Why is Syria on the U.S. State Department's list of state sponsors of terrorism? Where does Syria stand on the U.S. campaign against terrorism? What would need to happen for relations to improve between the U.S. and Syria? What actions, if any, should the U.S. take regarding Syria at this point in time? Discuss.