Syria's Assad charges US backed Hama revolt

Syrian President Hafez Assad says he has proof that the United States backed last month's unsuccessful revolt against his government in the city of Hama, the Observer newspaper reported.

It quoted Mr. Assad as saying in an interview: ''Some of the criminals have confessed their contacts with US agents. I have no doubt this was an American intelligence operation.''

Mr. Assad said Syrian troops who suppressed the Hama revolt captured advanced communications equipment and other material of American origin ''which could only have reached the criminals with US approval.''

In another anti-American statement, Syria's government-run press said the Middle East tour of US special envoy Philip Habib was part of an American-Zionist conspiracy to force Syria out of Lebanon.

Mr. Habib visited Damascus and met Syrian President Hafez Al-Assad last week.

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