'US fomenting crisis in Middle East'
Iran's Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki has blamed the US for fomenting regional conflicts to make up for its failed Middle East policy.world Updated: Nov 04, 2008 12:21 IST
Iran's Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki has blamed the US for fomenting regional conflicts to make up for its failed Middle East policy, official IRNA news agency reported on Tuesday.
Mottaki, on a visit to Syria, told President Bashar al-Assad on Monday that the recent air raid by the US on a Syrian village "was a sign of the US government's weakness and antagonist regional policies and a desperate show of might to compensate its failed policy".
Four US combat helicopters last week attacked a village at Syria's Deyr al-Zour province killing eight civilians, including five members of a family, and wounding a number of villagers.
Mottaki delivered a message to Assad from Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, expressing Tehran's solidarity with Damascus. The message also stated Iran's stand on the situation in Iraq, Lebanon and the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories.
The Iranian foreign minister, whose country is Syria's key regional ally, later told reporters his visit was a sign of "the solidarity of the Iranian people with the Syrian people after the American raid".
There was no comment from the Pentagon on the air raid but an official in Washington has said the attack targeted a top militant who smuggled arms and fighters into Iraq.
Syria protested the US action at the UN Security Council and called it a "cold-blooded war crime".
US commanders say Syria is the main transit point for foreign militants crossing into Iraq and have accused Damascus of turning a blind eye to the problem.
Officials in Damascus were indignant at Washington's remarks after the incident, with the Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem saying: "We consider this a criminal and terrorist aggression".