Syria: US attack a serious aggression

shirsoleiman20081027090846187.jpgSyria condemns a deadly US raid on its soil as “serious aggression” while Washington says the attack was meant to send a message to Damascus .

The Syrian Foreign ministry summoned the US charges d’affaires in Damascus to protest the strike.

” Syria condemns this aggression and holds the American forces responsible for this aggression and all its repercussions”, a Syrian government statement said.

Syrian officials say four US military helicopters on Sunday attacked a farm near the Iraqi border, killing eight civilians, including four children.

Damascus says a civilian building under construction came under the US attack shortly before sundown. The building is located in al-Sukkariya farm near the town of Abu Kamal , five miles inside the Syrian border.

The US military in Baghdad did not immediately comment but, a US military official in Washington said the raid by Special Forces targeted the network of al-Qaeda-linked foreign fighters moving through Syria into Iraq .

Speaking to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity, the official said, however, the Special Forces action within Syrian territory close to the Iraqi border was meant to send a message.

The Americans have been unable to shut the network down in the area because Syria was out of the military’s reach. “We are taking matters into our own hands,” the official added.

Following the raid, Syria also called on the Iraqi government to carry out an immediate inquiry into the attack and to ensure that Iraq was not used for “aggression against Syria ”, the government statement said.

The US attack on Syrian soil came just hours after it was revealed that the controversial US-sought security deal includes ‘some secret provisions’ which would allow the US to attack any country which Washington believes is posing a security threat to Iraq.

According to the Saudi daily Okaz, the secret provisions which have been incorporated into the so-called Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), would violate Iraq’s sovereignty in a more direct manner than the provisions disclosed by the Iraqi media.

The daily added that a majority of Iraqi lawmakers have been kept entirely unaware of the provisions.

MSH/DT

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