While the White House has declined comment and other US officials defended the strike on a Syrian border town yesterday which killed eight, international condemnation rained down on the strike from a number of sources.
The Syrian government, which already summoned the US Charges d’Affaires to complain about a strike which they labeled as “serious aggression,” had further condemnations and a warning today. Foreign Minister Wallid al-Muallem condemned the strike as an act of “criminal and terrorist aggression” and warned that his government “would defend our territories” in the event of a future attack.
The Lebanese government, which has been on shaky terms with Syria, also harshly condemned the move. Prime Minister Fouad Seniora released a statement condemning the attack as “dangerous” and “unacceptable” and “constitutes a violation of Syrian sovereignty.” Foreign Minister Fawzi Salloukh likewise condemned the raid as a violation of international law.
The Arab League took a similar position, with Secretary General Amr Mussa defending Syria’s “right to defend its land and people” and calling for an investigation into the strike. He also condemned the attack as “a violation of Syrian sovereignty.”
Russia, which had recently negotiated an arms deal with Syria, cautioned against attacks “on the territory of sovereign states under the slogan of the fight against terrorism” and that the attack would have a “sharply negative effect” on the region.
Unnamed US officials said the attack had targeted and killed a “smuggler of foreign fighters into Iraq” and said they didn’t kill any of the women and children found at the attacked site. US officials say the attack is justified under an “expansive definition of self-defense” similar to the argument made by Israel when it attacked a site in Syria last year.