The Syrian government says security forces killed three terrorists and wounded a fourth in a failed car bomb attack on the U.S. embassy in Damascus early Tuesday.
State media report that one Syrian security guard was killed and at least 11 bystanders were injured, including a Chinese diplomat. No Americans were hurt.
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice thanked Syria for repelling the attack.
But the Syrian embassy in Washington issued a statement alleging that U.S. policies are fueling extremism and terrorism. The statement said the U.S. should broker a comprehensive peace in the Middle East.
At the White House, Spokesman Tony Snow said Syria should stop harboring terrorists and join the war on terror.
Witnesses say the gunmen shouted Islamic slogans as they tried to throw grenades over the embassy compound's walls.
The witnesses describe black smoke rising into the sky and the sound of gunfire and explosions echoing from the area around the embassy.
A reporter at the scene said police towed away parked cars, apparently concerned about the possibility of more explosions. Syrian television showed a burned-out car being hauled away from the embassy.
A videotaped threat from al-Qaida's second-ranking leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, has appeared in parts of the Middle East this week. In his message, Osama bin Laden's deputy said the terrorist network has chosen the Persian Gulf region and Israel as its next targets.