[United States Statutes at Large, Volume 117, 108th Congress, 1st Session]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office, www.gpo.gov]

117 STAT. 2482

Public Law 108-175
108th Congress

An Act


 
To halt Syrian support for terrorism, end its occupation of Lebanon, and
stop its development of weapons of mass destruction, and by so doing
hold Syria accountable for the serious international security problems
it has caused in the Middle East, and for other purposes. <>

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the
United States of America in Congress assembled, <>

SECTION 1. <> SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the ``Syria Accountability and Lebanese
Sovereignty Restoration Act of 2003''.

SEC. 2. <> FINDINGS.

Congress makes the following findings:
(1) On June 24, 2002, President Bush stated ``Syria must
choose the right side in the war on terror by closing terrorist
camps and expelling terrorist organizations''.
(2) United Nations Security Council Resolution 1373
(September 28, 2001) mandates that all states ``refrain from
providing any form of support, active or passive, to entities or
persons involved in terrorist acts'', take ``the necessary steps
to prevent the commission of terrorist acts'', and ``deny safe
haven to those who finance, plan, support, or commit terrorist
acts''.
(3) The Government of Syria is currently prohibited by
United States law from receiving United States assistance
because it has repeatedly provided support for acts of
international terrorism, as determined by the Secretary of State
for purposes of section 6(j)(1) of the Export Administration Act
of 1979 (50 U.S.C. App. 2405(j)(1)) and other relevant
provisions of law.
(4) Although the Department of State lists Syria as a state
sponsor of terrorism and reports that Syria provides ``safe
haven and support to several terrorist groups'', fewer United
States sanctions apply with respect to Syria than with respect
to any other country that is listed as a state sponsor of
terrorism.
(5) Terrorist groups, including Hizballah, Hamas,
Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the Popular Front for the Liberation
of Palestine, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of
Palestine--General Command, maintain offices, training camps,
and other facilities on Syrian territory, and operate in areas
of Lebanon occupied by the Syrian armed forces and receive
supplies from Iran through Syria.

[[Page 2483]]
117 STAT. 2483

(6) United Nations Security Council Resolution 520
(September 17, 1982) calls for ``strict respect of the
sovereignty, territorial integrity, unity and political
independence of Lebanon under the sole and exclusive authority
of the Government of Lebanon through the Lebanese Army
throughout Lebanon''.
(7) Approximately 20,000 Syrian troops and security
personnel occupy much of the sovereign territory of Lebanon
exerting undue influence upon its government and undermining its
political independence.
(8) Since 1990 the Senate and House of Representatives have
passed seven bills and resolutions which call for the withdrawal
of Syrian armed forces from Lebanon.
(9) On March 3, 2003, Secretary of State Colin Powell
declared that it is the objective of the United States to ``let
Lebanon be ruled by the Lebanese people without the presence of
[the Syrian] occupation army''.
(10) Large and increasing numbers of the Lebanese people
from across the political spectrum in Lebanon have mounted
peaceful and democratic calls for the withdrawal of the Syrian
Army from Lebanese soil.
(11) Israel has withdrawn all of its armed forces from
Lebanon in accordance with United Nations Security Council
Resolution 425 (March 19, 1978), as certified by the United
Nations Secretary General.
(12) Even in the face of this United Nations certification
that acknowledged Israel's full compliance with Security Council
Resolution 425, Syrian- and Iranian-supported Hizballah
continues to attack Israeli outposts at Shebaa Farms, under the
pretense that Shebaa Farms is territory from which Israel was
required to withdraw by Security Counsel Resolution 425, and
Syrian- and Iranian-supported Hizballah and other militant
organizations continue to attack civilian targets in Israel.
(13) Syria will not allow Lebanon--a sovereign country--to
fulfill its obligation in accordance with Security Council
Resolution 425 to deploy its troops to southern Lebanon.
(14) As a result, the Israeli-Lebanese border and much of
southern Lebanon is under the control of Hizballah, which
continues to attack Israeli positions, allows Iranian
Revolutionary Guards and other militant groups to operate freely
in the area, and maintains thousands of rockets along Israel's
northern border, destabilizing the entire region.
(15) On February 12, 2003, Director of Central Intelligence
George Tenet stated the following with respect to the Syrian-
and Iranian-supported Hizballah: ``[A]s an organization with
capability and worldwide presence [it] is [al Qaeda's] equal if
not a far more capable organization * * * [T]hey're a notch
above in many respects, in terms of in their relationship with
the Iranians and the training they receive, [which] puts them in
a state-sponsored category with a potential for lethality that's
quite great.''.
(16) In the State of the Union address on January 29, 2002,
President Bush declared that the United States will ``work
closely with our coalition to deny terrorists and their state
sponsors the materials, technology, and expertise to make and
deliver weapons of mass destruction''.

[[Page 2484]]
117 STAT. 2484

(17) The Government of Syria continues to develop and deploy
short- and medium-range ballistic missiles.
(18) According to the December 2001 unclassified Central
Intelligence Agency report entitled ``Foreign Missile
Developments and the Ballistic Missile Threat through 2015'',
``Syria maintains a ballistic missile and rocket force of
hundreds of FROG rockets, Scuds, and SS-21 SRBMs [and] Syria has
developed [chemical weapons] warheads for its Scuds''.
(19) The Government of Syria is pursuing the development and
production of biological and chemical weapons and has a nuclear
research and development program that is cause for concern.
(20) According to the Central Intelligence Agency's
``Unclassified Report to Congress on the Acquisition of
Technology Relating to Weapons of Mass Destruction and Advanced
Conventional Munitions'', released January 7, 2003: ``[Syria]
already holds a stockpile of the nerve agent sarin but
apparently is trying to develop more toxic and persistent nerve
agents. Syria remains dependent on foreign sources for key
elements of its [chemical weapons] program, including precursor
chemicals and key production equipment. It is highly probable
that Syria also is developing an offensive [biological weapons]
capability.''.
(21) On May 6, 2002, the Under Secretary of State for Arms
Control and International Security, John Bolton, stated: ``The
United States also knows that Syria has long had a chemical
warfare program. It has a stockpile of the nerve agent sarin and
is engaged in research and development of the more toxic and
persistent nerve agent VX. Syria, which has signed but not
ratified the [Biological Weapons Convention], is pursuing the
development of biological weapons and is able to produce at
least small amounts of biological warfare agents.''.
(22) According to the Central Intelligence Agency's
``Unclassified Report to Congress on the Acquisition of
Technology Relating to Weapons of Mass Destruction and Advanced
Conventional Munitions'', released January 7, 2003: ``Russia and
Syria have approved a draft cooperative program on cooperation
on civil nuclear power. In principal, broader access to Russian
expertise provides opportunities for Syria to expand its
indigenous capabilities, should it decide to pursue nuclear
weapons.''.
(23) Under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear
Weapons (21 UST 483), which entered force on March 5, 1970, and
to which Syria is a party, Syria has undertaken not to acquire
or produce nuclear weapons and has accepted full scope
safeguards of the International Atomic Energy Agency to detect
diversions of nuclear materials from peaceful activities to the
production of nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive
devices.
(24) Syria is not a party to the Chemical Weapons Convention
or the Biological Weapons Convention, which entered into force
on April 29, 1997, and on March 26, 1975, respectively.
(25) Syrian President Bashar Assad promised Secretary of
State Powell in February 2001 to end violations of Security
Council Resolution 661, which restricted the sale of oil and
other commodities by Saddam Hussein's regime, except to the

[[Page 2485]]
117 STAT. 2485

extent authorized by other relevant resolutions, but this pledge
was never fulfilled.
(26) Syria's illegal imports and transshipments of Iraqi oil
during Saddam Hussein's regime earned Syria $50,000,000 or more
per month as Syria continued to sell its own Syrian oil at
market prices.
(27) Syria's illegal imports and transshipments of Iraqi oil
earned Saddam Hussein's regime $2,000,000 per day.
(28) On March 28, 2003, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld
warned: ``[W]e have information that shipments of military
supplies have been crossing the border from Syria into Iraq,
including night-vision goggles * * * These deliveries pose a
direct threat to the lives of coalition forces. We consider such
trafficking as hostile acts, and will hold the Syrian government
accountable for such shipments.''.
(29) According to Article 23(1) of the United Nations
Charter, members of the United Nations are elected as
nonpermanent members of the United Nations Security Council with
``due regard being specially paid, in the first instance to the
contribution of members of the United Nations to the maintenance
of international peace and security and to other purposes of the
Organization''.
(30) Despite Article 23(1) of the United Nations Charter,
Syria was elected on October 8, 2001, to a 2-year term as a
nonpermanent member of the United Nations Security Council
beginning January 1, 2002, and served as President of the
Security Council during June 2002 and August 2003.
(31) On March 31, 2003, the Syrian Foreign Minister, Farouq
al-Sharra, made the Syrian regime's intentions clear when he
explicitly stated that ``Syria's interest is to see the invaders
defeated in Iraq''.
(32) On April 13, 2003, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld
charged that ``busloads'' of Syrian fighters entered Iraq with
``hundreds of thousands of dollars'' and leaflets offering
rewards for dead American soldiers.
(33) On September 16, 2003, the Under Secretary of State for
Arms Control and International Security, John Bolton, appeared
before the Subcommittee on the Middle East and Central Asia of
the Committee on International Relations of the House of
Representatives, and underscored Syria's ``hostile actions''
toward coalition forces during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Under
Secretary Bolton added that: ``Syria allowed military equipment
to flow into Iraq on the eve of and during the war. Syria
permitted volunteers to pass into Iraq to attack and kill our
service members during the war, and is still doing so * * *
[Syria's] behavior during Operation Iraqi Freedom underscores
the importance of taking seriously reports and information on
Syria's WMD capabilities.''.
(34) During his appearance before the Committee on
International Relations of the House of Representatives on
September 25, 2003, Ambassador L. Paul Bremer, III,
Administrator of the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq,
stated that out of the 278 third-country nationals who were
captured by coalition forces in Iraq, the ``single largest group
are Syrians''.

[[Page 2486]]
117 STAT. 2486

SEC. 3. <> SENSE OF CONGRESS.

It is the sense of Congress that--
(1) the Government of Syria should immediately and
unconditionally halt support for terrorism, permanently and
openly declare its total renunciation of all forms of terrorism,
and close all terrorist offices and facilities in Syria,
including the offices of Hamas, Hizballah, Palestinian Islamic
Jihad, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and
the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine--General
Command;
(2) the Government of Syria should--
(A) immediately and unconditionally stop
facilitating transit from Syria to Iraq of individuals,
military equipment, and all lethal items, except as
authorized by the Coalition Provisional Authority or a
representative, internationally recognized Iraqi
government;
(B) cease its support for ``volunteers'' and
terrorists who are traveling from and through Syria into
Iraq to launch attacks; and
(C) undertake concrete, verifiable steps to deter
such behavior and control the use of territory under
Syrian control;
(3) the Government of Syria should immediately declare its
commitment to completely withdraw its armed forces, including
military, paramilitary, and security forces, from Lebanon, and
set a firm timetable for such withdrawal;
(4) the Government of Lebanon should deploy the Lebanese
armed forces to all areas of Lebanon, including South Lebanon,
in accordance with United Nations Security Council Resolution
520 (September 17, 1982), in order to assert the sovereignty of
the Lebanese state over all of its territory, and should evict
all terrorist and foreign forces from southern Lebanon,
including Hizballah and the Iranian Revolutionary Guards;
(5) the Government of Syria should halt the development and
deployment of medium- and long-range surface-to-surface missiles
and cease the development and production of biological and
chemical weapons;
(6) the Governments of Lebanon and Syria should enter into
serious unconditional bilateral negotiations with the Government
of Israel in order to realize a full and permanent peace;
(7) the United States should continue to provide
humanitarian and educational assistance to the people of Lebanon
only through appropriate private, nongovernmental organizations
and appropriate international organizations, until such time as
the Government of Lebanon asserts sovereignty and control over
all of its territory and borders and achieves full political
independence, as called for in United Nations Security Council
Resolution 520; and
(8) as a violator of several key United Nations Security
Council resolutions and as a nation that pursues policies which
undermine international peace and security, Syria should not
have been permitted to join the United Nations Security Council
or serve as the Security Council's President, and should be
removed from the Security Council.

[[Page 2487]]
117 STAT. 2487

SEC. 4. <> STATEMENT OF POLICY.

It is the policy of the United States that--
(1) Syria should bear responsibility for attacks committed
by Hizballah and other terrorist groups with offices, training
camps, or other facilities in Syria, or bases in areas of
Lebanon occupied by Syria;
(2) the United States will work to deny Syria the ability to
support acts of international terrorism and efforts to develop
or acquire weapons of mass destruction;
(3) the Secretary of State will continue to list Syria as a
state sponsor of terrorism until Syria ends its support for
terrorism, including its support of Hizballah and other
terrorist groups in Lebanon and its hosting of terrorist groups
in Damascus, and comes into full compliance with United States
law relating to terrorism and United Nations Security Council
Resolution 1373 (September 28, 2001);
(4) the full restoration of Lebanon's sovereignty, political
independence, and territorial integrity is in the national
security interest of the United States;
(5) Syria is in violation of United Nations Security Council
Resolution 520 (September 17, 1982) through its continued
occupation of Lebanese territory and its encroachment upon
Lebanon's political independence;
(6) Syria's obligation to withdraw from Lebanon is not
conditioned upon progress in the Israeli-Syrian or Israeli-
Lebanese peace process but derives from Syria's obligation under
Security Council Resolution 520;
(7) Syria's acquisition of weapons of mass destruction and
ballistic missile programs threaten the security of the Middle
East and the national security interests of the United States;
(8) Syria will be held accountable for any harm to Coalition
armed forces or to any United States citizen in Iraq if the
government of Syria is found to be responsible due to its
facilitation of terrorist activities and its shipments of
military supplies to Iraq; and
(9) the United States will not provide any assistance to
Syria and will oppose multilateral assistance for Syria until
Syria ends all support for terrorism, withdraws its armed forces
from Lebanon, and halts the development and deployment of
weapons of mass destruction and medium- and long-range surface-
to-surface ballistic missiles.

SEC. 5. <> PENALTIES AND
AUTHORIZATION.

(a) <> Penalties.--Until the President makes
the determination that Syria meets all the requirements described in
paragraphs (1) through (4) of subsection (d) and certifies such
determination to Congress in accordance with such subsection--
(1) the President shall prohibit the export to Syria of any
item, including the issuance of a license for the export of any
item, on the United States Munitions List or Commerce Control
List of dual-use items in the Export Administration Regulations
(15 CFR part 730 et seq.); and
(2) the President shall impose two or more of the following
sanctions:
(A) Prohibit the export of products of the United
States (other than food and medicine) to Syria.

[[Page 2488]]
117 STAT. 2488

(B) Prohibit United States businesses from investing
or operating in Syria.
(C) Restrict Syrian diplomats in Washington, D.C.,
and at the United Nations in New York City, to travel
only within a 25-mile radius of Washington, D.C., or the
United Nations headquarters building, respectively.
(D) Prohibit aircraft of any air carrier owned or
controlled by Syria to take off from, land in, or
overfly the United States.
(E) Reduce United States diplomatic contacts with
Syria (other than those contacts required to protect
United States interests or carry out the purposes of
this Act).
(F) Block transactions in any property in which the
Government of Syria has any interest, by any person, or
with respect to any property, subject to the
jurisdiction of the United States.

(b) Waiver.--The <> President may waive the
application of subsection (a)(1), (a)(2), or both if the President
determines that it is in the national security interest of the United
States to do so and submits to the appropriate congressional committees
a report containing the reasons for the determination.

(c) Authority To Provide Assistance To Syria.--If the President--
(1) <> makes the determination that
Syria meets the requirements described in paragraphs (1) through
(4) of subsection (d) and certifies such determination to
Congress in accordance with such subsection;
(2) determines that substantial progress has been made both
in negotiations aimed at achieving a peace agreement between
Israel and Syria and in negotiations aimed at achieving a peace
agreement between Israel and Lebanon; and
(3) determines that the Government of Syria is strictly
respecting the sovereignty, territorial integrity, unity, and
political independence of Lebanon under the sole and exclusive
authority of the Government of Lebanon through the Lebanese army
throughout Lebanon, as required under paragraph (4) of United
Nations Security Council Resolution 520 (1982),

then the President is authorized to provide assistance to Syria under
chapter 1 of part I of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (relating to
development assistance).
(d) Certification.--A certification under this subsection is a
certification transmitted to the appropriate congressional committees of
a determination made by the President that--
(1) the Government of Syria has ceased providing support for
international terrorist groups and does not allow terrorist
groups, such as Hamas, Hizballah, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the
Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and the Popular
Front for the Liberation of Palestine--General Command to
maintain facilities in territory under Syrian control;
(2) the Government of Syria ended its occupation of Lebanon
described in section 2(7) of this Act;
(3) the Government of Syria has ceased the development and
deployment of medium- and long-range surface-to-surface
ballistic missiles, is not pursuing or engaged in the research,
development, acquisition, production, transfer, or deployment of
biological, chemical, or nuclear weapons, has provided credible
assurances that such behavior will not be undertaken

[[Page 2489]]
117 STAT. 2489

in the future, and has agreed to allow United Nations and other
international observers to verify such actions and assurances;
and
(4) the Government of Syria has ceased all support for, and
facilitation of, all terrorist activities inside of Iraq,
including preventing the use of territory under its control by
any means whatsoever to support those engaged in terrorist
activities inside of Iraq.

SEC. 6. <> REPORT.

(a) <> Report.--Not later than 6 months after the
date of the enactment of this Act, and every 12 months thereafter until
the conditions described in paragraphs (1) through (4) of section 5(d)
are satisfied, the Secretary of State shall submit to the appropriate
congressional committees a report on--
(1) Syria's progress toward meeting the conditions described
in paragraphs (1) through (4) of section 5(d);
(2) connections, if any, between individual terrorists and
terrorist groups which maintain offices, training camps, or
other facilities on Syrian territory, or operate in areas of
Lebanon occupied by the Syrian armed forces, and terrorist
attacks on the United States or its citizens, installations, or
allies; and
(3) how the United States is increasing its efforts against
Hizballah and other terrorist organizations supported by Syria.

(b) Form.--The report submitted under subsection (a) shall be in
unclassified form but may include a classified annex.

SEC. 7. <> DEFINITION OF APPROPRIATE
CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEES.

In this Act, the term ``appropriate congressional committees'' means
the Committee on International Relations of the House of Representatives
and the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate.

Approved December 12, 2003.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY--H.R. 1828:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

HOUSE REPORTS: No. 108-314 (Comm. on International Relations).
CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, Vol. 149 (2003):
Oct. 15, considered and passed House.
Nov. 11, considered and passed Senate, amended.
Nov. 20, House concurred in Senate amendments.
WEEKLY COMPILATION OF PRESIDENTIAL DOCUMENTS, Vol. 39 (2003):
Dec. 12, Presidential statement.