And no, it wasn’t a mistake.
DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) – U.S. military helicopters launched an extremely rare attack Sunday on Syrian territory close to the border with Iraq, killing eight people in a strike the government in Damascus condemned as “serious aggression.”
A U.S. military official said the raid by special forces targeted the foreign fighter network that travels through Syria into Iraq. The Americans have been unable to shut the network down in the area because Syria was out of the military’s reach.
“We are taking matters into our own hands,” the official told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because of the political sensitivity of cross-border raids.
The attack came just days after the commander of U.S. forces in western Iraq said American troops were redoubling efforts to secure the Syrian border, which he called an “uncontrolled” gateway for fighters entering Iraq.
And here’s where it happened…
I understand the need to secure a porous border, but this seems ill advised. Especially at a time when we have increased stability in the region.
More as it develops…
Joshua Landis gets this email from a reader who spoke to someone on the scene.
It appears as if they may have hit the wrong targets…
I just spoke on the phone with a doctor in ABou Kamal- He confirmed that the attack happened around sunset. The 4 helicopters came from the East of the township, he saw them coming. The soldiers debarked and shot people who were working in a building under construction on the periphery of the township.
9 people were pronounced dead on arrival to the hospital- Two more are severely wounded and are being operated on right now [he does not expect them to survive]- He has not read the papers (there are none to read at this time of the night) nor listened to the news and there is no internet thereâ€¦.His report was completely spontaneous-
I was not able to get the details on the ages of the injured but he described them as poor simple people (Masakeen)from the town. If the matter were otherwise, he would have let me know.
More as it develops…