Iraq Leader Says Country Plagued by Terrorism

An Iraq leader said Wednesday that attacks on U.S. troops are not stemming from resistance by citizens but rather terrorist actions "for which the Iraqi people pay a high price."

Massoud Barzani (search), a member of Iraq's Governing Council (searchand also leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party, spoke after meeting with Syrian Vice President Abdul Halim Khaddam (search).

"There is no Iraqi resistance. Rather, there are terrorist actions for which the Iraqi people pay a high price," Barzani told reporters. "Some foreigners who entered Iraq are creating problems for the Iraqi people." He did not elaborate.

L. Paul Bremer, the American civil administrator in Iraq, said last week 123 of the 248 non-Iraqi fighters being held in Iraq are Syrian.

Bush administration officials have repeatedly accused Syria of impeding the U.S. war in Iraq, first by allowing shipments of military goods to reach Saddam Hussein's forces before and during the fighting, and now by allowing foreign fighters to cross from Syria into Iraq.

Syrian officials have denied allowing militants into Iraq.

Syria, a staunch opponent of the U.S. war on Iraq, does not recognize the Governing Council but said it will deal with all Iraqis.

Syria's official news agency, SANA, said Barzani and Khaddam stressed the need to "reinforce the (Iraqi) national unity to guarantee ending the occupation and rebuilding the Iraqi state and its institutions."