Ban calls for resolving Syria border issue after US attack

Other News Materials 29 October 2008 22:14 (UTC +04:00)

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called Wednesday on Middle Eastern countries to cooperate to resolve issues such as border security following the reported US air raid inside Syria, dpa reported.

"The secretary general deeply regrets the loss of civilian lives in this incident and reiterates his earlier call for the need for regional cooperation to solve issues of common concern, including border security," UN spokeswoman Marie Okabe said.

"The UN remains committed to helping to promote regional dialogue to bring stability to Iraq and the wider region," she said.

The Syrian government said in letters to Ban and the UN Security Council that US helicopters targeted a civilian home in an attack last Sunday, killing eight people.

"They targeted a civilian building, firing on those working inside the building," Syrian UN Ambassador Bashar Jaafari said, providing names of the dead.

The White House has not acknowledged the attacks. However, US officials, speaking anonymously in media reports, have said the target of the raid was an Iraqi native who goes by the nom de guerre Abu Ghadiya. The US government in February designated him as a lead al-Qaeda facilitator of weapons and foreign fighters into Iraq.

Jaafari said his government condemned "that act of aggression, which was committed by the occupying US forces" against Syria's sovereignty and in violation of the United Nations Charter.

"In this context, we refer to the fact that this unjustified act of aggression came at a time when the US and Iraqi sides had both acknowledged the enormous efforts that had been exerted by the Syrian Arab Republic to maintain the security of Iraq and prevent any illegal infiltration into its territory," the letter said.

It called on Baghdad to investigate and on UN members "to assume their responsibility to prevent any repetition of this grave violation." It said the US should be held accountable for the violation.