A published report says the U.S. military has conducted nearly a dozen secret operations against al-Qaida and other terrorist groups in Syria, Pakistan and other countries since 2004.
The New York Times says the operations were authorized by a broad classified order that then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld signed and President Bush approved in spring 2004. The order gave the military authority to attack al-Qaida anywhere in the world and to conduct operations in countries that were not at war with the U.S.
The Times says one such operation was the Oct. 26 raid inside Syria. Washington hasn't formally acknowledged the raid, but U.S. officials have said the target was a top al-Qaida-in-Iraq figure. Syria has asked for proof and said eight civilians were killed in the attack.
A Defense Department spokesman had no comment on the Times report.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)