U.S. raid on Syria part of Baghdad security pact: analyst

October 29, 2008 - 0:0

TEHRAN – U.S. forces on Sunday attacked a building in eastern Syria, killing eight civilians, including four children.

Four U.S. helicopters flew from Iraq about 8 kilometers into Syria and struck a farm. Two helicopters then landed near the farm while the other two provided cover from above. Soldiers from the two helicopters on the ground fatally shot five members of one family, a guard at the farm and his wife and a man who was fishing nearby.
Syrian officials called the attack a “sheer violation of international law.”
The Mehr News Agency sought the views of four political analysts on U.S. intentions behind the attack on Syria.
Political analyst Hossein Alaii said the United States is already implementing a proposed security pact with Iraq which extends the presence of U.S. troops in the violence-ravaged country beyond December 31, when their United Nations mandate expires.
“According to the security pact, whenever the U.S. feels threatened by Iraq’s neighbors, it has the right to use the territory of Iraq to counter the threat…The U.S. attacked Syrian territories under the pretext that al-Qaeda forces were in the region but the reality is that it is implementing the proposed security agreement.”
U.S. efforts to sign a security pact with Iraq, that would give the U.S. troops a mandate directly from Iraq’s elected leaders for the first time, has been denounced by Iraqi people and officials.
Thousands of Iraqis took to the streets last week in protest against the security agreement. Marchers waved Iraqi flags and chanted “yes, yes Iraq! No, no to the occupation!”
U.S. not to cozy up with Syria
Political expert Hossein Rouyran said the U.S. raid on Syria was intended to show that Washington is not following the EU lead to bring Syria out of isolation.
Rouyran said the raid was not aimed at cracking down on insurgents as the region which came under attack has not seen any terrorist movement in two years.
It seems that the U.S. is seeking to deteriorate the security situation in Iraq to pressure Baghdad into signing the security agreement, he told the MNA.
Syria raid shows U.S. failure in Mideast
Abu Yasser Adel Aoun of Lebanon’s Amal Movement said the attack on Syria shows that the United States has failed to establish security in the violence-torn country.
“This shows the failure of the Bush administration to achieve its objectives in the Middle East. It has failed to take control of the Middle East, it has failed to bring peace between Israelis and Palestinians, and its policies have failed in Pakistan and Afghanistan,” he told the MNA.
Aoun said the U.S. raid came in response to Washington’s failure to sign the security pact with Baghdad. The U.S. believes that Syria and Iran were behind the Iraqi people’s objection to the deal, he stated.
The Syrian government warned of retaliation if the U.S. struck again.
“Killing civilians in international law means terrorist aggression,” Syrian Foreign Minister Waleed Mouallem said at a news conference in London. Further acts of aggression will not be tolerated, Mouallem said. “If they do it again, we will defend our territories,” he said