Report: Ahmadinejad calls U.S. Syria raid 'a blind and savage act'
Syria cut diplomatic ties with the U.S. after raid, which they say killed eight civilians near Iraqi border.
Iran's official news agency says President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has condemned a recent U.S. raid inside Syria near its border with Iraq as a savage act.
IRNA says Ahmadinejad called his Syrian counterpart, Bashar Assad, Friday to express Iranian support.
The report quotes Ahmadinejad as calling Sunday's raid a blind and savage act.
Washington has not formally acknowledged the raid but U.S. officials, speaking to the media on condition of anonymity, have said the target of the raid was Badran Turki al-Mazidih, a top al-Qaida in Iraq figure who operated a network of smuggling fighters into the war-torn country. The Iraqi national also goes by the name Abu Ghadiyah.
Syria has said the raid only killed eight civilians and has challenged the U.S. to prove it targeted an extremist.
Damascus has decided to cut off its diplomatic relations with Iraq in response to the raid, Al-Arabiya reported on Thursday.
Syria has also decided to reduce its troops on the border with Iraq, according to a report from Syrian television.
The Syrian government has demanded Washington apologize for the strike of the Abu Kamal border community and earlier this weeek threatened to cut off cooperation on Iraqi border security if there are more American raids on Syria territory.
Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari called his Syrian counterpart late Wednesday to express Iraq's rejection of the attack and stress his government's keenness to avoid any political escalation that would damage relations between the two countries.
Meanwhile, hundreds of Syrian riot police ringed the shuttered and closed U.S. Embassy in Damascus on Thursday, as tens of thousands of Syrians converged on a central square for a government-orchestrated protest to denounce the raid.
The embassy was closed because of security concerns related to the protest, and the American school was also shut for the day. The Syrian government has ordered the closure of the school, expected within a week, and the immediate closing of the American cultural center linked to the embassy.
Though Syria has long been viewed by the U.S. as a destabilizing country in the Middle East, in recent months, Damascus has been trying to change its image and end years of global seclusion.
But American accusations that Syria wasn't doing enough to prevent foreign fighters from crossing its borders into Iraq remains a sore point in relations. Syria says it is doing all it can to safeguard its long, porous border.