U.S. launches raid within Syria

Fox News reports:

U.S. military helicopters struck a network of foreign fighters in Syria, a U.S. military official said Sunday, killing eight people and earning recrimination from Damascus, which condemned the raid as “serious aggression.”

The official, speaking to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity, said the special forces action within Syrian territory close to the Iraqi border, was meant to send a message. The Americans have been unable to shut the network down in the area because Syria was out of the military’s reach. . .

The attack came just days after the commander of U.S. forces in western Iraq said American troops were redoubling efforts to secure the Syrian border, which he called an “uncontrolled” gateway for fighters entering Iraq.

Ninety percent of foreign fighters enter Iraq through Syria, according to U.S. intelligence estimates. Foreign fighters often enter Iraq in order to bring cash to Al Qaeda in Iraq’s chief. They also are deadly — trained in bomb-making and willing to sacrifice themselves in suicide attacks. . .

“The one piece of the puzzle we have not been showing success on is the nexus in Syria,” the official said speaking of other areas of assistance in Iraq and neighboring countries.

On Thursday, U.S. Maj. Gen. John Kelly said Iraq’s western borders with Saudi Arabia and Jordan were fairly tight as a result of good policing by security forces in those countries but that Syria was a “different story.”

“The Syrian side is, I guess, uncontrolled by their side,” Kelly said. “We still have a certain level of foreign fighter movement.”

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