Is it possible that the universal threat of radial Islamic clerics will finally be viewed as a common threat to all secular governments in the middle east? When the door cracks open for diplomacy, will the Bush Administration take advantage of it? Secretary of State Condi Rice personally acknowledged the swift assistance of the Syrian goverment to quell the takeover attempt of the U.S. Embassy this morning. Will radial Islam now retaliate against the Syrian government?? Only time will tell.


DAMASCUS, Syria – Syrian guards foiled an attempt by suspected al-Qaida-linked militants to blow up the U.S. Embassy on Tuesday, exchanging fire outside the compound’s walls with gunmen who shouted “God is great” and tried to storm in with automatic weapons and hand grenades.

The brazen, midmorning assault in a heavily guarded neighborhood of the capital could highlight the Syrian regime’s weakening grip on militants, who have battled Syrian security forces repeatedly in recent years.

The attack, which left at least 10 civilians and a Chinese diplomat wounded, came amid high tension between Washington and Damascus.

The rapid response by Syrian guards won rare praise from the United States, which accuses President Bashar Assad’s government of supporting terrorism in its backing of Hezbollah guerrillas and Palestinian militants.

“I do think that the Syrians reacted to this attack in a way that helped to secure our people, and we very much appreciate that,” Secretary of State
Condoleezza Rice said. No Americans were hurt, and the embassy was not damaged.

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