CIA ordered Syrian attack

NY Times:


American officials who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the secrecy of the mission said the mission had been mounted rapidly over the weekend on orders from the Central Intelligence Agency when the location of the suspected leader of the insurgent group, an Iraqi known as Abu Ghadiya, was confirmed. About two dozen American commandos in specially equipped Black Hawk helicopters swooped into the village of Sukkariyeh near the Iraqi border just before 5 p.m., and fought a brief gun battle with several militants, including Mr. Ghadiya, the officials said. It was unclear whether Mr. Ghadiya died near his tent on the battlefield or after he was taken into American custody, one senior American official said. One United States official described Mr. Ghadiya as Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia’s “most prominent” smuggler of foreign operatives crossing the Syrian border into Iraq, and in February the Treasury Department named him as one of four major figures in that group who were living in Syria. The official said that Mr. Ghadiya was in his late 20s and came from a family of smugglers in Anbar Province in western Iraq. He was also suspected of having led an attack in May against a police station in western Iraq that killed 11 Iraqi officers, an American official said.

Spokesmen for the Defense Department and C.I.A. declined to comment on the incident. On Sunday, an American military official had denied that American military helicopters had played a part in the raid.

When the military denies involvement, that is usually a clue that it was a CIA operation. Whether the al Qaeda leader was dead or not his body puts the lie to the Syrian story about the raid. It also is evidence of how little Syria is doing to stop the infiltration of terrorist from its territory.


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