The United States accused Syria Friday of shipping military equipment to Iraq and warned Damascus it considers this a hostile act.
"We have information that shipments of military supplies have been crossing the border from Syria into Iraq, including night vision goggles," U.S. Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said at a Pentagon briefing.
"These deliveries pose a direct threat to the lives of coalition forces. We consider such trafficking as hostile acts and will hold the Syrian government accountable for such shipments," he said.
Rumsfeld also noted that Iran-backed militias operating inside Iraq will be considered combatants. He said the presence of such militias was "unhelpful" and said Tehran would be held responsible for their actions.
Asked by reporters to explain what kind of threat he was issuing to Syria, Rumsfeld said: "I am saying exactly what I said. It was carefully phrased."