Syria Remains Key for Foreign Fighters in Iraq: US

90% of Iraq's foreign fighters come across neighbor's borders, new report contends
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Mar 12, 2008 3:08 PM CDT
Syrian and Iraqi Vice-Presidents, Farouk al-Sharaa, right, and Adel Abdul-Mahdi, listen to the two countries' anthems upon Mahdi's arrival in Damascus on Thursday, Sept. 27, 2007 for talks with Syrian...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Syria is a key jumping-off point for foreign militants in Iraq, with 90% entering through the Syrian border, the Pentagon reported yesterday. “It is not clear that Syria has made a strategic decision to deal with foreign terrorists using Syria as a transit point,” the report notes. Meanwhile, Iran's support of Shiite insurgents also remains troublesome, the AP reports.

Corruption within Iraq’s government—combined with the actions of Damascus and Tehran—is hampering progress in rebuilding, with demand for basic services such as electricity far exceeding supply. Al-Qaeda also remains a threat to Sunni leaders in some areas. Still, the report shows a continued drop in violence, as Iraq's forces grow stronger after the US troop surge.