Alexa
  • Directory of Taiwan

Syrian foreign minister criticizes US raid

Syrian foreign minister criticizes US raid

A U.S. military raid inside Syria was an act of "criminal and terrorist aggression," Syria's foreign minister said Monday and warned of retaliation if its borders were violated again.
If there is a repeat of the weekend raid, "we would defend our territories," Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem told a news conference in London.
The U.S. military said it was targeting the network of al-Qaida-linked foreign fighters moving through Syria to help fight in Iraq. Syria said troops in four helicopters attacked a building and killed eight people, including four children.
Al-Moallem claimed that a farmer, three children and a fishermen who was out working are among the dead.
"All of them are civilian, unarmed, and they are on Syrian territory," he said. "Killing civilians in international law means a terrorist aggression. We consider this criminal and terrorist action."
Al-Moallem was in London on Monday for talks with British Foreign Secretary David Miliband. The two were scheduled to hold a joint news conference, but Miliband opted out. The British government _ a key ally of Washington in the U.S.-led war in Iraq _ has declined to comment on the raid in detail.
"They know full well that we stand against al-Qaida," al-Moallem said, referring to U.S. officials. "They know full well we are trying to tighten our border with Iraq."
During talks, Miliband "confirmed that it was the long-standing position of the British government to regret any civilian casualties," a joint statement issued on behalf of the two men said. "Both ministers agreed that tackling al-Qaida and groups inspired by it was a high priority and agreed to work more closely together to tackle this threat," it said.
Al-Moallem dismissed claims that the U.S. had been pressed to act inside Syria's borders because the country has done too little to halt the flow of fighters crossing into Iraq.
Syria is working hard to seal the border, but that the U.S. is "blaming us by killing our civilians," al-Moallem told reporters.
The minister said U.S. officials had been unable to provide further details about the incident. Miliband told him that Britain also is seeking clarification from Washington.
Al-Moallem said he is scheduled to speak with Iraq's foreign minister on Monday about the raid.
The Syrian minister also called for the next U.S. administration to "learn from the mistakes of this administration."
"I hope the American people would elect a president who can bring a good reputation in the world, not like this reputation we are witnessing in this administration," he said.
But he declined to specify his preferred presidential candidate, saying only that he hoped the "best for the United States" wins the election.


Updated : 2021-06-18 22:31 GMT+08:00