Iraq denounces U.S. raid on Syria

October 29, 2008 - 0:0

BAGHDAD/DAMASCUS (Agencies) – Iraq's government denounced on Tuesday a U.S. air strike on a Syrian border village in a rebuke of Washington.

“The Iraqi government rejects U.S. aircraft bombarding posts inside Syria. The constitution does not allow Iraq to be used as a staging ground to attack neighboring countries,” spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said, the Reuters reported.
Dabbagh said Iraq had opened an investigation into the incident and urged U.S. forces not to repeat it.
Dabbagh's comments came a day after Syria's Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem angrily denounced Iraq's initial description of the raid as targeting insurgents across the border. He said the attack killed eight civilians.
The criticism of the United States was announced after a cabinet meeting to discuss a security pact to allow U.S. forces to stay in Iraq.
The pact has so far been blocked mainly by Shi'ite political parties, and one of their main complaints has been that the accord might allow U.S. troops to use Iraq as a base to attack neighboring countries.
Syria said U.S. helicopters struck a border village on Sunday night
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) stated that the U.S. air strike against Syria on Sunday requires a united Arab stance against the policies of the United States in the Middle East, and that this strike comes in order to boost John McCain in his elections campaign.
The PFLP added that McCain is using propaganda in his elections campaign in order to “show that the United States is conducting serious wars in the so-called War on Terror”.
Palestinian Legislator, Jamil Majdalawi, member of the PFLP political bureau, stated that “the Bush administration is manipulating the public in the U.S. in order to make them believe that the U.S. is facing real dangers and is leading serious wars against terror.
Majdalawi added that the U.S. administration is supporting McCain by spreading rumors and lies that manipulate the public opinion of ordinary Americans.
“The U.S. administration and its security agency always spread lies about Iraqi weapons, and now are spreading lies about Syria”, he stated, “this all falls as part of the lies and manipulation practiced by the U.S. security agency”.
In an interview with the Palestine Today news agency, Majdalawi said that “it is not strange that the U.S. aggression in Iraq is trying to spread to other Arab countries”, and added that the U.S. is interested in installing more military basis in the Middle East in order to give justification to the U.S. aggression in the Middle East and its support to Israel”.
Syria considered the attack as a war crime, and the Tishrin governmental newspaper stated that “the U.S. forces in Iraq committed a cold-blooded murder in Syria”.
Meanwhile, Russia accused the United States of fuelling dangerous tension in the Middle East after Syria said that U.S. helicopters had attacked a farm near the border with Iraq.
“Moscow has responded with great concern to what happened,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
“We believe attacks that are worthy of condemnation should not be launched on the territory of sovereign states under the slogan of the fight against terrorism.”
“It is obvious that such unilateral military actions have a sharply negative effect on the situation in the region, and widen the seat of dangerous armed tension.”
The United States, has neither confirmed nor denied the incident.
Syria said eight people were killed and accused the United States of committing a “terrible crime.”
President Michel Sleiman denounced the U.S. air raid on Syria as a “flagrant violation of a sisterly Arab state's sovereignty,” according to a statement released by his media office.
“The attack that was carried out contradicts international law,” Sleiman told his Syrian counterpart, Bashar Assad, in a telephone conversation.
He also expressed “solidarity with Syria in defending its sovereignty over all its territories.”
Sleiman called for settling differences and conflicts between states in line with the United Nations Charter and international laws.
Also on Monday, Prime Minister Fouad Siniora accused the U.S. military of an “unacceptable” violation of Syrian sovereignty. “The raid by U.S. helicopters on Syrian territory ... constitutes a violation of Syrian sovereignty and thus is a dangerous, unacceptable attack that we condemn,” said a statement from his office.
“Any military attack against an Arab country or on a small country by a larger country is an act we reject,” it added.
Earlier this month, Syria and Lebanon formally established diplomatic ties for the first time since independence 60 years ago.
Also condemning the attack, Hezbullah issued a statement accusing the U.S. of “going overboard.”
“All Arab countries are urged to put an end to the U.S.' blatant violation of the sovereignty of an Arab state,” the statement said.
The Hezbullah statement also called on the Arab League to take “fast and firm” action against such violations.
“The United Nations is to assume its responsibilities too,” the statement added.
The Cairo-based Arab League denounced a U.S. air strike inside the Syrian territories that killed eight Syrian civilians.
Such a violation undermines the efforts to establish regional security and may lead to more tensions in the region, the pan-Arab body said in a statement.
The U.S. move spoils the credibility for peace efforts in the war-torn Iraq and its neighbors, said the statement.
Confirming its solidarity with Syria, the Arab organization voiced its support to Syria to protect its people and sovereignty.
Syria hopes the result of next week's U.S. presidential election can help restore the United States' global reputation, learning the “mistakes” of the Bush era, its foreign minister said Monday.
“I hope that the American people would elect the president who can bring good reputation for U.S. in the world, not like this reputation we are witnessing for this administration,” Walid Muallem told reporters in London.
“We hope the coming administration will learn the mistakes of this administration,” he added, speaking in English after talks with British Foreign Secretary David Miliband.