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UNITED NATIONS (AP) _ The U.N. Security Council unanimously approved an overhaul of sanctions against Iraq on Tuesday in a victory for the United States with backing from Russia, Saddam Hussein's most important council ally.

Syria had considered abstaining because amendments it proposed favoring Saddam's government and opposing U.S. policies toward Iraq were rejected. But after consultations with Damascus overnight, it decided to vote with the 14 other members and make it unanimous.