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US Forces Close Iraq-Syria Pipeline - 2003-04-15

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says U.S. forces have shut down a pipeline used for illegal oil shipments from Iraq to Syria. Mr. Rumsfeld says he cannot guarantee that the flow of illegal oil between Iraq and Syria has been completely shut down.

But Mr. Rumsfeld tells reporters at the Pentagon one pipeline estimated to send up to 200,000 barrels of oil daily in violation of U.N. sanctions has been cut off by U.S. forces.

"We have been told that they have shut off a pipeline," he said. "Whether it's the only one and whether that has completely stopped the flow of oil between Iraq and Syria, I cannot tell you. We do not have perfect knowledge. We do know that they were instructed to shut it down and they have told us that they have."

Mr. Rumsfeld was asked if he is concerned any Iraqi leaders who may have fled to Syria might use that country as a base for launching terrorist attacks on U.S. troops. He declined to discuss Syria but voiced confidence some fugitive Iraqi leaders will eventually been captured.