An unnamed US military official has confirmed the attack on the Syrian border town of al-Sukkariya earlier this evening, which killed at least eight and wounded 14 others. He said the attack targeted “elements of a robust foreign fighter logistics network” and that the US had decided to take matters “into our own hands.” US Marines Major General John Kelly had recently expressed discontent with Syria’s slow progress on constructing a physical barrier at the border, though as recently as Thursday he described security incidents in the border province as so uncommon as to be “almost meaningless,” making the timing of the attack puzzling.
Syria summoned the Charges d’Affaires of both the United States and Iraq to protest the attack, which it condemned as “serious aggression.” In a statement released through their state media they called on the Iraqi government to “assume its responsibilities and make an immediate investigation into the dangerous violation and prevent using the Iraqi lands from launching aggression on Syria.”
Iraqi officials have so far not publicly commented on the strike, but have consistently said that they would not allow the US to use their territory for attacks on neighboring countries. None of the reports suggest that Iraqi forces played any role in the raid, which may serve to further harm relations between the US and Iraq, already deteriorating over US warnings about the Status of Forces Agreement.
The attack may also have ramifications from US-ally Israel’s ongoing indirect peace talks with Syria. Israeli defense officials tried to distance themselves from the strike, saying it was in no way connected to Israel.