AMMAN, Jordan, AP -Iraq”s defense minister criticized Syria for letting militants train on Syrian soil and warned Sunday that an escalation of violence in Iraq will spill over into neighboring countries.
Saadoun al-Dulaimi”s visit to Jordan follows Wednesday”s triple hotel suicide bombings in the Jordanian capital Amman by the al-Qaida in Iraq terror group. Fifty-seven people died, excluding the bombers.
"We have more than 450 detainees who came from different Arab and Muslim countries to train in Syria and enter with their booby-trapped vehicles into Iraq to bring destruction and killings," al-Dulaimi said after meeting Jordanian Prime Minister Adnan Badran.
"Let me tell the Syrians that if the Iraqi volcano explodes, no neighboring capital will be saved," al-Dulaimi told The Associated Press.
Syria has denied that it hosts supporters of the Iraqi insurgency, but says it cannot maintain perfect control of its long desert border with Iraq.
In Cairo on Sunday, Iraqi national security advisor Mawafak al-Rubaei appealed for Egypt to use its weight with Arab countries "to stop exporting death to Iraq, especially sister Syria."
Al-Dulaimi demanded more anti-terror support from Damascus, which is already facing intense pressure from the United States to lock down its borders and stop extremists allied with the Jordanian-born militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of al-Qaida in Iraq, from entering the country.
"Iraq is bordering several countries, Iran, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Jordan, but why is it only the Syrian borders that I have complained more than once about?" al-Dulaimi said.
Iraqi and U.S. forces have been trying to crush Iraq”s rampant insurgency, led by al-Zarqawi and Saddam Hussein loyalists, for the past two years.
Al-Qaida in Iraq”s attack in Jordan — its deadliest inside a neighboring Mideast country — has also raised fears that al-Zarqawi”s terror campaign has gained enough momentum to spread throughout the region.