Syria, Sponsor of Terrorism, Assumes U.N. Security Council Presidency
Posted: June 12, 2002
On June 1, Syria assumed the rotating presidency of the United Nations Security Council. The council presidency rotates each month based on the alphabetic order of its 15 members. Syria's two-year membership on the Security Council began January 1, 2002 in a move ADL derided as "ironic and sad."
Syria's membership and now presidency of this high-profile body gives undue respectability to a nation that continues to sponsor terrorist organizations against Israel and the United States. Syria continues to harbor terrorists and supports anti-Israel and anti-American terrorist organizations operating within Lebanon and the Palestinian Authority. The U.S. has repeatedly designated Syria as a state sponsor of terrorism.
Among the terrorist groups sponsored by Syria is Islamic Jihad, an organization that openly promotes the total destruction of the State of Israel. Islamic Jihad has claimed responsibility for numerous recent suicide attacks in Israel, including the deadly bus bombing on June 5, which killed 17 people at Megiddo Junction in northern Israel.
Syria's Record of Terror
While presiding on the Security Council, the Republic of Syria has…
- Remained on the U.S. State Department's roster of countries sponsoring terrorism (a member since the list's inception in 1979);
- Had extensive involvement in anti-Israel and anti-U.S. terrorist attacks;
- Provided the Lebanon-based terrorist group Hezbollah, "substantial amounts of financial, training, weapons, explosives, political, diplomatic, and organizational aid," according to the U.S. State Department;
- Provided a safe haven and logistical support to a variety of terrorist groups, both Arab and non-Arab, such as the Kurdish PKK and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) was founded in the late 1970's based on its members' commitment to the destruction of Israel and the establishment of a Palestinian state. The group has claimed responsibility for many recent devastating terrorist attacks against Israelis, including:
March 3: An attack by a Palestinian gunman in that killed Sgt. Steven Koenigsburg, 19, of Hod Hasharon and wounded 4 soldiers in the Gaza Strip. Islamic Jihad and Tanzim claimed responsibility for the attack.
March 5: The suicide bombing of an Israeli bus as it entered the Afula central bus station.
March 17: The suicide bombing of an Israeli bus in the French Hill neighborhood of Jerusalem, which injured 25.
March 20: The suicide bombing of an Israeli bus in northern Israel. Seven people, including four soldiers, were killed and 30 people were injured.
June 6: Suicide car bombing in northern Israel, which killed 16 people and wounded dozens more.