Tens of thousands of Syrians turned out Thursday for a massive protest against a deadly U.S. raid near the Iraqi border. A mile away, hundreds of Syrian riot police formed a protective ring around the closed U.S. Embassy, but the crowds dispersed peacefully after a couple of hours later, the AP reported.
The rally took place on the Youssef al-Azmi square and surrounding streets in the upscale al-Maliki neighborhood.
The troops took up positions around the embassy and the adjacent U.S. residence building. The embassy was closed because of security concerns related to the protest.
American sources said the target of the attack was the leader of a network with links to al-Qaeda, smuggling foreign fighters into Iraq. Syria insists the dead were civilians and has challenged Americans to provide evidence to the contrary. "This aggression did not succeed," said Syria's Information Minister Mohsen Bilal. "It was supposed to yield a catch so that they could show it to the world ... But the catch turned out to be an innocent family."