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Anti-U.S. Protesters Crash Syria Rock Concert

About 50 Syrian protesters crashed a U.S.-sponsored public rock concert in Damascus on Thursday held in honor of victims of the September 11 attacks, demanding Washington stop its battle cry against Iraq.

“Stop the drums of war so we can hear your music,” protesters yelled at the rock memorial, which was attended by around 150 people, including some Americans.

The protesters also waved signs and shouted slogans protesting against U.S. support for Israel, accusing the United States of “serving Zionist criminals” and participating in “dirty crimes” against the Palestinian people.

President Bush told the U.N. General Assembly on Thursday that action against Iraq would be unavoidable unless the United Nations forced Baghdad to disarm. If Iraq refused to comply with U.N. resolutions, the Baghdad government would lose power, he said.

Syria fears it could be the next target in the U.S. war on terror for hosting radical Palestinian groups and supporting Lebanon’s Hizbollah guerrilla group.

Syria has also been building economic ties with Iraq in recent years, which British diplomats say extend to a U.N. sanctions-busting trade in Iraqi oil. Iraq and Syria say their deals adhere to the U.N. oil-for-food program.