Two to four United States helicopters attacked Syria, near the Iraqi border, Sunday evening, killing at least nine people. The site was near the target Israel bombed last year.


Foreign media reported that residents in the village of Al-Sukkariya, approximately 300 miles northeast of Damascus and about 10 miles inside Syrian territory and near the main border crossing from Syria into Iraq. Syrian government news agencies confirmed the attack, and a private Syrian television channel reported that nine men died and 14 were wounded.


Two of the helicopters reportedly landed in the village, where eight American soldiers jumped out and carried out the operation. The soldiers quickly returned to the helicopters, and all of the craft left the scene.


It was the first time the U.S. has attacked on Syrian land.


American military spokesperson Sergeant Brooke Murphy said officials are investigating the report.


The targets reportedly were construction workers and were civilians, including five people from one family, local residents reported to news agencies. Terrorists have used the nearby border crossing to transport weapons, money and guerillas to help Sunni opposition to the Iraqi government, backed by the U.S.


The Bush administration has charged Syria with not preventing Al Qaeda terrorists from infiltrating into Iraq.