Syrian government: U.S. helicopters attack farm on Syria-Iraq border

Sunday, October 26, 2008

According to the Syrian government, United States military helicopters attacked a farm on the Syria-Iraq border. Earlier media reports called the helicopters "unidentified" which came into Syria from Iraq. The attack has caused some diplomatic stirs, and the Syrian government has called in a diplomat from the U.S..

The BBC News agency reports, quoting Syrian media, that at least seven people were killed when the helicopters attacked a farm along the Bou Kamal border with Iraq in the Syrian town of Al-Sukkariya. Among the dead were a man, four of his sons, and two farm workers. Other reports say at least nine were killed. At least 14 others were injured. Syrian media says all of those killed were civilians.

One report from Trend News says that Lebanese officials confirm that the raid was carried out by U.S. troops and that they were targeting alleged terrorists preparing to infiltrate Iraq.

The Syrian government state the strike was carried out by the U.S. military. Witnesses near the attack also say the helicopters appeared to be American and involved at least four helicopters, two of which landed. Further witness reports say that at least eight American soldiers proceeded to get off the helicopters. After allegedly attacking their target, all the soldiers returned to the helicopters which took off and left Syria.

According to PRESS TV, Sergeant Brooke Murphy, a spokesman for U.S. forces in Iraq, the military is investigating the incident. Meanwhile, Maura Connelly, a U.S. diplomat to Syria, was called to the country's foreign ministry to discuss the incident.

If the U.S. carried out the attack, it would be the first time any such attack was carried out inside Syria by U.S. forces.