8 civilians killed
Syria ponders filing UN complaint following helicopter attack
The United States committed a "terrible crime" when a helicopter attack killed eight civilians on a Syrian farm near the Iraq border, according to Syrian officials, who said the country may file a complaint with the United Nations Security Council.
Four U.S helicopters attacked the al-Sukkari farm Sunday in the Albou Kamal area of eastern Syria, about eight kilometres from the Iraq border, according to Syrian government officials.
"Four helicopters came from different directions and hovered. Two of them landed and soldiers got out and started shooting," Osama Malla Hameed, who owns a farm nearby, told Reuters. "They stayed for about four minutes and then departed."
Syrian officials said U.S. soldiers also stormed a civilian building that was under construction in the area.
The funerals of the people killed, who included four children, were expected to be held on Monday.
"This is an outrageous raid which is against international law. It is a terrible crime," Syrian Ambassador to London Sami al-Khiyami said.
Khiyami said Syria is still waiting to hear from the United States about why the attack occurred.
Iraqi government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said Monday that the attacks targeted an area that is used by insurgents to launch cross-border attacks into Iraq.
"The latest of these groups ... killed 13 police recruits in an [Iraqi] border village. Iraq had asked Syria to hand over this group which uses Syria as a base for its terrorist activities," Dabbagh said.
The United States has neither confirmed nor denied the incident.
But a U.S. military official in Washington anonymously told the Associated Press Sunday that special forces conducted a raid in Syria targeting a network of al-Qaeda-linked foreign fighters moving through Syria into Iraq.
"We are taking matters into our own hands," the official told the Associated Press, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the political sensitivity of cross-border raids.
The United States has previously accused Syria of failing to stem the flow of al-Qaeda fighters into Iraq.
About 90 per cent of the foreign fighters in Iraq enter through Syria, according to U.S. intelligence.
Foreigners are some of the most deadly fighters in Iraq, trained in bomb-making and with small-arms expertise and are more likely to be willing suicide bombers than Iraqis.
May lodge complaint
Syria will decide if it is going to lodge a complaint with the United Nations Security Council after officially hearing from the American government, Khiyami said.
The attack comes at time when Syria appears to be making some amends with the United States.
Its president, Bashar Assad, has pursued indirect peace talks with Israel, mediated by Turkey, and says he wants direct talks next year. Syria also has agreed to establish diplomatic ties with Lebanon, a country it used to dominate both politically and militarily.
The flow of foreign fighters into Iraq has also been declining. A senior U.S. military intelligence official told the Associated Press in July it had been cut by about 50 per cent over six months to an estimated 20 a month.
"If they [the United States] have any proof of any insurgency, instead of applying the law of the jungle and penetrating, unprovoked, a sovereign country, they should come to the Syrians first and share this information," Syria's press attaché at its embassy in London, Jihad Makdissi, told the BBC.
"This administration ... have proved to be irrational and they have no respect for international law or human rights. We expect a clarification, and of course Syria reserves the right to respond accordingly in the proper way."
Syria is also urging the Iraqi government to carry out an immediate inquiry into the attack and to ensure that Iraq was not used for "aggression against Syria," said state news agency SANA.
Iraqi officials said they hoped the raid would not harm their relations with Syria, and Iran condemned the attack.
"But a U.S. military official in Washington anonymously told the Associated Press Sunday that special forces conducted a raid in Syria targeting a network of al-Qaeda-linked foreign fighters moving through Syria into Iraq.
"We are taking matters into our own hands," the official told the Associated Press, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the political sensitivity of cross-border raids."
^ Yeah ok.... those four children must have been a real threat that you gotta send off special forces to execute them on a farm and then take off quickly, expecting nobody would notice.
Taking matters into their own hands..... yeah no sh*t.... the US is sending it's troops into any country, any location, for any reason they damn well please, totally ignoring the borders of other nations, totally ignoring international laws.....
Jesus, I won't shed a damn tear when several countries just decide to land on US territory and blow the hell out of a few of their children and civilians claiming to have targeted terrorists.
God Damn Americans.