Syrians retaliate against W. German sanctions
Damascus, Syria — Syria has retaliated in kind against West Germany for diplomatic sanctions initiated because of alleged Syrian involvement in terrorism. On Saturday, Syrian officials named the three West German diplomats ordered to leave the country by the end of the week. Syria had demanded on Friday that West Germnay reduce the number of its military attach'es in Damascus to that of Syrian attach'es allowed to stay in Bonn. This came one day after Bonn accused Syria of aiding a bomb attack and ordered the expulsion of five Syrian diplomats. Syria also said it was withdrawing its ambassador from Bonn until further notice.
The United States and European countries imposed limited sanctions in October after Britain severed ties with Damascus, on evidence that Syria backs terrorism.
The Syrian news agency said the government regretted that West Germany was ``bowing to the pressures of the US and the United Kingdom and joining the campaign of lies and defamation against Syria and taking unjustified action which is not based on any evidence.''
Last Wednesday, a West Berlin court convicted two Palestinians of bombing the German-Arab Friendship Society in the city on March 29, wounding nine people. In pretrial statements, the men said they got the explosives from the Syrian Embassy in East Berlin. They identified their contact as a senior officer in Syria's air force intelligence service. On Thursday West Germany froze $27.9 million in development aid and said it would not immediately replace its ambassador to Damascus who had ended a regular tour of duty.