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Page last updated at 14:08 GMT, Monday, 27 October 2008

Syrian witness reacts to US raid

Syria has accused the US of committing a "war crime" after a helicopter raid within its borders left eight people dead.

Sam is a BBC user who lives in Abu Kamal, the Syrian border town where the attack happened on Sunday. He describes the local anger at the attack directed at America - and at Syrian authorities.

I live less than two miles (three kilometres) away from where it took place. I was asleep at the time, but went to the hospital less than two hours afterwards. Nearly everyone who had heard about it was there.

What appear to be bloodstains inside the compound (still taken from Syrian TV)
Syrian TV showed what appear to be bloodstains at the site of the attack

Most of the people here have bitter anti-American sentiments and this has only added fuel to the fire.

We are also very disappointed with the lack of response from our own authorities.

The attack was in the village of Sukariya, which is inhabited almost entirely by the Mashahda tribe.

They are very relaxed, laid back people, not very religious - there's no Mujahideen from this tribe. The guard and the woman who died were very simple people.

They lived in a tent and were being paid to guard building materials such as cement and timber, 24 hours a day. These people will have had nothing to do with the insurgency in Iraq.

Most of the people who live here have families in Iraq. A lot of smuggling goes on: bringing guns and sheep from Iraq to Syria.

There is security everywhere in this country. The government is very severe with the locals; if they have a tip-off that someone has a stolen gun, the place will be surrounded in two minutes.

But yesterday there was zero response. The attack happened close to a bridge over the Euphrates and there are military posts either side of the bridge - so very near.

But the army is indecisive when it comes to action. The people who were killed were harmless, they should have been protected. It is a very saddening experience.

People talk about patriotism, but when it comes to action - nothing.

People here hate America more than before and they are disappointed in their own authorities' response.


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