Senior US officials, commenting on Sunday’s attack into Syria, said the strike was designed to send a warning to the Syrian government. “You have to clean up the global threat that is in your back yard, and if you won’t do that, we are left with no choice but to take these matters into our hands,” the Washington Post quotes one anonymous official as saying.
The official also likened the strike to the long series of unilateral US strikes into Pakistan’s tribal regions, saying that “there will be steps taken to deal with” the targets. The strike, which killed at least eight people, has drawn harsh condemnations from the Syrian government, much as the strikes in Pakistan have from their government.
Syria promised to tighten its border with Iraq in 2004, but has struggled to do so. Still, despite complaints about the border violence in the province on the Iraqi side has fallen to “almost meaningless” low levels, according to the US commander in western Iraq. Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem, speaking in London, said the US was following “the policy of cowboys” and noted that America has been no more successful in sealing its own border with Mexico than Syria has its border with Iraq.