Middle East News
Syrian President al-Assad: US troops in Iraq threatens neighbours
Nov 9, 2008, 11:26 GMT
Damascus - Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Sunday spoke out against the signing of the US-Iraqi security pact, saying the presence of US troops in Iraq posed a threat to stability in the region.
'The presence of occupation forces constitutes a permanent threat to Iraq's neighbours,' al-Assad told Arab parliamentarians.
The security deal being negotiated between Baghdad and Washington outlines the future of US troops in Iraq after a United Nations mandate expires at the end of this year.
Under the deal, al-Bashar said, Iraq would become 'a base for attacks on its neighbours.'
Iran has also indicated its opposition to the deal, calling it an 'assault on the sovereignty of Iraq.'
On October 26, US soldiers based in Iraq carried out an attack across the border in a Syrian village, killing seven people. Witnesses said a man was taken into custody and flown out by helicopter.
The US government has not officially commented on the US commando operation, but unofficially the target was an al-Qaeda militant in Iraq.