""Iraq is in contact with the American side about reports regarding the attack along the frontier with Syria. This region is a theatre of insurgent activities against Iraq using Syria as a launch pad," Iraqi government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said in a statement.
He said Baghdad was also asking Damascus to extradite members of an unnamed group it accused of killing 19 Iraqi security guards in a recent attack.
In Syria, the official press said Sunday’s attack — which the authorities say left eight civilians dead, including four children — was a "war crime" by the administration of US President George W. Bush.
"The American forces from Iraq committed cold-blooded murder," government newspaper Tishrin wrote. "They committed a war crime in killing eight Syrian civilians in a quiet village."
Official media reported that American helicopter-borne troops from Iraq launched an assault on a building site Sunday in the village of Al-Sukkiraya, which lies just eight kilometres (five miles) from the border.
It was the first confirmed US action of its kind into Syrian territory amid frosty relations between Washington and Damascus." AFP
How does one explain this operation?
At present; the Bush Administration and its perennial and unending hostility to Syria is about to disappear, negotiations between the US and Iraq are in a delicate condition, Syria has signaled a desire to improve relations with the US, Israel and Lebanon, there is a new US commander in Iraq.
Where in all of that is an explanation for this US commando raid into the Syrian border country?
– The US Special Operations Forces (USSOF) counter-terrorist forces may have been "off the leash" on this one. These forces are exclusively focused on hunting down terrorist people and support group world-wide. Rumsfeld made them largely independent of the regular military chain of command. They amount to a global SWAT team. They develop their own targeting intelligence and make their own plans. The amount of control that the local US joint commander has over them is not very clear. They are not noted for a great deal of insight into geopolitical niceties.
– General Odierno, the man who replaced Petraeus in Iraq, is not famous for nuanced reactions to frustrating situations.
Whatever the cause, the result of ham fisted actions of this kind can be disastrous for the chance of making something better emerge from the situation that Bush/Cheney is leaving for President Obama and his team. pl