US embassy in Damascus closes as Syrians demonstrate

Other News Materials 30 October 2008 19:42 (UTC +04:00)

The US embassy in Damascus announced that for security reasons it would be closed for the day Thursday as thousands of protesters in the Syrian capital demonstrated against the recent US commando raid on a Syrian village near the Iraqi border, reported dpa.

Carrying pictures of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, protestors denounced US President George W Bush, with signs bearing slogans such as: "Bush: The supporter of terrorism around the world."

Dozens of students from the Syrian region of Bokmal, the location of Sunday's raid, protested near the embassy, which was surrounded by Syrian riot police.

"We are here to protest this crime," Hussein, an Arabic literature student at Damascus University, told Deutsche Presse- Agentur, dpa.

Several Syrian organizations also protested in the streets against the US raid inside Syrian territory, in which the US said it targeted a leader of the international al-Qaeda terrorist network. Syria says eight civilians were killed.

The raid has increased tensions between the US and Syria, which the US considers a state sponsor of terrorism. The US has imposed sanctions on Syria for backing groups such as the Palestinian Islamic group Hamas which the US views as a terrorist organization.

The US government has not yet made an official statement on the attack.