What really happened in the U.S. raid on Syria?

October 28, 2008

   So much of what passes for news in the Middle East is enveloped in shadow, with even seasoned observers reduced to weighing claim and counter-claim with little hard evidence to go on. Yet another example is the U.S. raid across the Syrian border on Sunday.
   Syria says the attack by U.S. forces inside Syria was a “terrorist aggression” which targeted a farm and killed eight civilians.
    A U.S. official said the raid by U.S. forces is believed to have killed a major al Qaeda operative, known as Abu Ghadiya, who helped smuggle foreign fighters into Iraq.
    But do we really know what happened?
    We do know that following the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of  Iraq, Syria, which feared it was next on Washington’s list of rogue states for regime change, permitted the transit of Jihadi volunteers for the Iraqi insurgency fighting the U.S. occupation of Iraq.
    We also know that there have been similar attacks by U.S. forces near the Iraqi border, and also in Afghanistan and across the Afghan-Pakistan border. In at least two instances these operations have mistakenly hit a wedding party and civilian houses despite claims they were al Qaeda hideouts.
    We also know that the U.S. military has at least twice in the past carried out attacks across the Syrian border but this was the first time the obsessively secretive Syrian regime has gone public with it and allowed camera crews to reach the area and film the aftermath.
    Damascus is resentful because, as part of its attempt to improve its image internationally, it has clamped down on al Qaeda-inspired Islamist militants. It feels its efforts are not being recognised by Washington and that the Jihadis  are seeking reprisals.
   “I can tell you and explain that the terrorist explosion in Damacus in September happened because we tightened our border with Iraq. They (Jihadis) wanted revenge for what we are doing. Unfortunately they are not the only revenging party. Of course the Americans tried to ‘reward’ us by carrying out this (attack) ,” said Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem.
    Given the credibility of all parties  in this affair it is going to be difficult to get to the the bottom of what happened.


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US conducts raid in Syria, led by CIA (AQ official killed)…

On Sunday the United States conducted a raid in Syria to hunt down and kill Abu Ghadiya, an AQ militant who was helping to bring foreign fighters into Iraq. This smuggling of fighters in has been a tremendous problem that US forces have faced and it i…

Posted by A Couple Things | Report as abusive

Undoubtedly Syria is toning down its Pan-Arabic slogans and is moving away from its leadership claims in the Arab world. It is, of course, the result of hard work by the international community to unite and warn Syria to end its occupation of Lebanon, political assassinations and harboring the Islamic terrorists. This means that Syria has to distance itself from the God Father of terrorism, Iran. It is too naïve to believe Walid al-Moualem’s claim that Jihadis are behind the September explosions in Damascus when Iran would be the biggest looser if Syria departed from the terrorist camp. Iran needs to maintain its forces of Hezbullah in Lebanon, Qods and Bader in Iraq, Hamas in Gazza and the Islamic rebels in Sudan and Somali to leverage itself against the west. Worst of all is Iran’s path to becoming a nuclear state that will drag the world to the point-of-no-return. The US attacks on Syrian and Pakistani borders simply fan the fire that Iran has blazed in the region and further embolden terrorists. The solution to the Middle East crisis is to help the Iranian resistance (NCRI) in its efforts for a democratic regime change in Iran. A good source of Middle East information is (www.iranfocus.com)

Posted by I’ve been there | Report as abusive

This US administration is the end. It always makes claims in cannot backup and ultimately turn out untrue as an excuse to violate the border of a sovereign country and shoot and blow things and people up without any responsibility whatsoever. I hear a lot about Syria for the US: Syria is building a nuclear reactor and so gave Israel the green light to bomb Syrian territory, a claim that IAEA inspected and found nothing to prove its existence; that a building inside Syria is a refuge for Iraqi insurgents and so killed everyone in there including 8 innocent civilians who are callously dismissed as ‘collateral damage’ for an illegal military raid inside sovereign territory without any evidence to show the world and even the Iraqis themselves denounced it…It is clear who the real troublemaker here in these cases is, and it is NOT Syria. I cannot see how any credibility can be given to whatever comes out of the White House ever since the debacle in Iraq. We can only hope that whatever new administration is in charge in the US soon will understand that a new approach is needed to relate to the world other than glaring mindlessly from behind the sights of US guns.

Posted by Bill | Report as abusive

I would like to make a slight correction in my last post: The claim was not that the building inside Syria housed Iraqi insurgents, but insurgent fighters from abroad destined to fight in Iraq.

Posted by Bill | Report as abusive

The evidence that Syria was building a nuclear reactor was pretty strong. There were photographs taken of the site while it was under construction, by an inside source who worked on the site. The structure was a copy of a North Korean reactor building. The site was drawing cooling water from a river, like a nuclear plant. It was hidden in a valley to prevent observation from the ground, and there were no power lines leaving the site. A photograph of a prominent member of the North Korean nuclear program meeting with a Syrian counterpart is also known to exist. Furthermore, the Syrians themselves rushed to bulldoze the site after the bombing probably to hide the structure and possibly remove contaminated soil.

See wikipedia, “Operation Orchard.” Look at the cited sources, and it is apparent that Syria was pursuing nuclear technology.

Furthermore, the US “green light” has not historically meant much to Israel in regards to military operations. They tend to act as it suits them if the US approves or not. Blaming America for Israel bombing a Syrian nuclear site is a leap.

In either case, this direct action is much more controlled than dropping guided bombs from aircraft.

If the Syrians took the business of patrolling their territory seriously, this would not have happened. The raid is an effect of Syrian ambivalence. It is unlikely that American intelligence was able to detect this target and the Syrians could not. And that suggests Syria is not interested in stopping Al Qaeda from entering Iraq.

Posted by XYZ | Report as abusive

I can’t believe the ‘nuclear reactor’ is still under discussion here. Once and for all, the IAEA has searched the sight and has found no proof that the ‘building’ if it can be called that and so far found nothing, stating all the way that Syria cooperated fully as it searched the sight. We have seen the example of the US intelligence agencies’ ‘pretty strong evidence’ and ‘photos’ and ‘inside sources’ that contributor XYZ cited, the result of which that the US government unilateral breaking of international law by invading Iraq using the WMDs as an excuse, and ultimately nothing of the sort was found.
The same disgraceful methods the US administration used to excuse its odious cross-border raid into Syria where innocent civilians were killed, citing again ‘intelligence sources’ and that the operation was ‘successful’ …What sources? What proof? Where is this ‘Abu Ghadiya’ they claim destroyed? What happened to the body? And what ‘results’ could they possibly have achieved with this beastly raid that justifies these innocent civilian deaths? The United States administration has no right to get away with such actions clearly against international law just because it is the United States and a Security Council member. No one does. If even one state views itself unaccountable to law and global conventions, law simply ceases to exist.

Posted by Iggs | Report as abusive

It’s interesting that people will immediatly write off US claims that the targets were militants and demand proof but will accept without evidence Syrian or Pakistani claims that all the victims were innocent civilians. All of the sides involved here have reasons to hide or misdirect the truth about these incidents. In this region there is never any black and white answers and public claims have as much to do with domestic interests as they do with international issues of right or wrong.

Posted by PSB | Report as abusive

We have seen claims and claims from the US to justify there actions throughout the world and for any unbiased observer would see in the past decade how the US have commited crimes against humanities and wars in several regions in the world because of these claims (lies).
Afganistan, and Iraq these 2 countries who was living peacefully (despite of our opinion on how the leaders of these countries are treating there people) and with security and were trying to build their countries according to what they blieve is best to their countries, the US came and destroyed them and killed over a million and a half in Iraq alone and caused people to flee their homes to neighporing countries. Their execuse was WMDs in Iraq which latter appeared to be false, and still they are acting alone crossing all international laws and conventions also on false claims and beleive me the world will not believe the US what ever it claims. Syria who is being afficted by the war on Iraq on all levels and who welcomed the 2 million Iraqi refugees which is a huge burdin on a small country such as Syria, and who have spent lots of money on policing the Iraqi border to save American lives, did not receive anything from the US, but this terrorist act on civilian Syrians and guess what the father and his four childrins and the workers wh died in the attacks are claimed to be terrorists and the US want us to beleive what they say.

People all over the world according to reports comming out from everywere show the US is more hated than ever and this means this is the down fall to the US domination of this world

Posted by Maan | Report as abusive