Syria feigns innocence after attack on al Qaeda base


Iraq today defended launching a joint raid with the United States across the border into neighbouring Syria, claiming that the target was a site used by terror groups planning attacks against it.

Syria has protested vigorously about last night's raid, claiming that four children were among the eight to die after four military helicopters landed at sunset near al-Sukkari farm, five miles inside the Syrian border.

The Syrian ambassador to London described the raid as outrageous, and an embassy spokesman demanded to know why Iraq had not simply informed it that its territory was being used by hostile groups. Iraq, however, responded by saying that it had warned Syria about insurgency activity, but that no action had been taken.

Jihad Makdissi, the press attache at the Syrian embassy in London, said: "If (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."

But Ali al-Dabbagh, an Iraqi government spokesman, retorted: "The attacked area was the scene of activities of terrorist groups operating from Syria against Iraq.

"The latest of these groups... killed 13 police recruits in an (Iraqi) border village. Iraq has asked Syria to hand over this group which uses Syria as a base for its terrorist operations."

The Syrian Foreign Ministry has summoned the US and Iraqi ambassadors to Damascus to protest about the operation.


The best way to stop the infiltration of foreign fighters into Iraq is to take over the Damascus airport and screen departing passengers. Syria's pretensions of innocence are not credible. Nor is their little diplomatic show.

Since the US took a couple of captives besides the al Qaeda leader, at some point they will probably be produced and the Syrian diplomats will be embarrassed by the story their government has told them to put out. I suspect that one of the reasons the US has said so little about the attack is they are giving the Syrians time to destroy their own credibility.


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