Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem on Monday accused the United States of "terrorist aggression" over a deadly raid on a village near the Syria-Iraq border. "We consider this criminal and terrorist aggression. We put the responsibility on the American government," he told a press conference in London, after talks with British Foreign Secretary David Miliband.
"Killing civilians in international law means a terrorist aggression," he added, in the first remarks by a Syrian minister since the reported attack in in the village of Al-Sukkiraya, eight kilometres from the border. Asked if Syria would use force if the Americans mounted a similar operation again, he said, according to AFP: "As long as you are saying if, I tell you, if they do it again, we will defend our terrorities."
Earlier Monday, a US official in Washington said American forces crossed into Syria Sunday in a raid against foreign fighters.
According to the Syrian minister, four American helicopters had crossed the border at 5:00 pm. Two of them landed at the village site, while the other two aircraft protected them. Soldiers came out of the helicopters on the ground and started shooting at civilians working on farms, including a father and his three children and a fisherman, he said.
"All of them are civilians, Syrian, unarmed and they are on the Syrian territories," he told reporters.