U.S. Confirms Raid into Syria
U.S. officials confirmed U.S. troops raided Syria during the weekend, targeting an Iraqi militant who funneled fighters and funding from Syria into Iraq.
The militant, identified as Badran Turki Hishan al-Mazidih, was killed along with “several armed males,” U.S. officials said, while Syrian leaders said the raid killed seven people, The Washington Post reported.
U.S. officials said the people killed were militants, and women and children were not harmed, The New York Times reported.
In London, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem called Sunday’s operation a “criminal and terrorist aggression” and said the Bush administration was following “the policy of cowboys.”
A U.S. official told the Post the raid also was to warn the Syrian government to “clean up the global threat that is in your back yard, and if you won’t do that, we are left with no choice but to take these matters into our hands.”
French President Nicolas Sarkozy issued a statement Monday expressing “serious concerns” about the raid. Russia also voiced concern about the operation.
One U.S. official described Moualem, nicknamed “Abu Ghadiya,” as al-Qaida in Mesopotamia’s “most prominent” smuggler of foreign operatives crossing the Syrian border into Iraq, the Times reported.