Saturday, September 16, 2017

UPDATED: Did Russian Airstrikes Intentionally Target US backed Kurdish Fighters?

 It's not so clear! A pretext to justify an American attack on the Syrians is equally possible.

 Corrected the headline for several reasons-  1st: only injuries are being claimed.
2nd- the US is saying Russia intentionally hit the Kurdish militias

UPDATE 5:26 EST : The new headline now reflects the claims of intentional targeting now being made by the US- coming straight from the DoD

SOUTHWEST ASIA, Sept. 16, 2017 — At approximately 12:30 a.m. Greenwich Mean Time today, (3:30 AM Syrian Time- 8:30 pm EST) Russian forces struck a target east of the Euphrates River in Syria near Dayr Az Zawr, causing injuries to coalition partner forces, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials announced. 

Russian munitions impacted a location known to the Russians to contain Syrian Democratic Forces and coalition advisors, the officials said. Several SDF fighters were wounded and received medical care as a result of the strike.
Multinational coalition troops advising and assisting the SDF were present but were not wounded as a result of the Russian strike.

How did the advising and assisting coalition troops get so dam lucky?!! Unscathed from an airstrike?

Russia and the US maintain open deconfliction communications....

The Russian Armed Forces have not provided any comments yet.
However, Moscow has repeatedly claimed that decisions about the airstrikes in Syria are made only after thorough verification of the intelligence data
Commentary: I'm still questioning:
 1- if their were any airstrucks at all?
 2- who exactly carried out the airstrikes? 
3- How did the Coalition advisers who were assisting the YPG/PKK escape the strikes unharmed?
4- Knowing the US is looking for a pretext- will this now be a convenient excuse for "retaliation" against SAA- Who appear to have had nothing to do with this what so ever?

From earlier:

First issue: The Kurdish militias are making the claims- They can claim anything they want. Doesn't make it true. Reuters- and you should pay particular attention to the extremely manipulative language in that article! 
" U.S.-backed militias said they came under attack on Saturday from Russian jets and Syrian government forces in Deir al-Zor province"
Second: SOHR is verifying airstrikes against the Kurdish militia but is not verifying which party struck the US backed PKK/YPG militia. Via Associated Press:
 The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights confirmed the airstrike, but said it was not clear if it was carried out by Russian or Syrian warplanes.
 If SOHR can't identify Russians vs Syrian.  Who can they identify? If anyone?

Let's consider the threats emanating from the US backed Kurds yesterday?

Kurdistan 24
DEIR AL-ZOR, Syria (Kurdistan 24) – The Kurdish-led, US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) on Friday said they reached Deir al-Zor on Euphrates near the border with Iraq, gaining ground in an offensive to retake the city from Islamic State (IS).
The SDF said in an online statement that their forces reached Deir al-Zor city after 48 hours of announcing the offensive named Al-Jazira Storm.
An SDF spokesperson Mustefa Bali told Kurdistan 24 their fighting would extend to any area under IS in Syria.
“Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) has the right to fight in any area under Daesh (IS) control in Syria and liberate it,”  (which just means steal the territory) he said.
From the south of Deir al-Zor, the Syrian regime forces and their allies are advancing toward the city as well.
The distance between SDF and the Syrian regime forces is about 15 kilometres.
The SDF command confirmed they would respond if the Syrian regime forces cross the Euphrates to their areas.
“The Syrian regime forces already bombarded our positions around Tabqa, and if the regime forces attack us here, we have the right to respond and we will do,” Talal Silo, an SDF top commander and spokesperson told Kurdistan 24.
Did the Syrian's attack SDF aka YPG/PKK? Did the Russians attack? Is the claim of bombings airstrikes a pretext, which the US can use to justify, launch airstrikes, against the Syrian National Army?

“We always state that our project is eliminating terrorism,” he said.
According to the Deir al-Zor Military Council, part of the SDF, the operation in Deir al-Zor province aims at capturing areas in its northern and eastern countryside and advancing towards the Euphrates. (land grabbing expansionism- just like their Israeli pals)
Al-Jazira region, located in northeast Syria, lies between the Euphrates and Tigris rivers and contains the provinces of Hasaka, Raqqa and Deir al-Zor.
The term Jazira is also used by the Kurdish administration in Syria’s northern pre-dominantly Kurdish areas (known as Rojava) to refer to the provinces of Qamishli and Hasaka after the Syrian government withdrew from the region in July 2012.
BEIRUT (Reuters) - U.S.-backed Syrian militias will not let government forces cross the Euphrates River in their bid to recover eastern Syria, their commander said on Friday, but Russia said army units had already done so near the city of Deir al-Zor.
Syrian government forces supported by Russian air strikes and Iran-backed militias, and a U.S.-backed alliance of Kurdish and Arab fighters, are converging on Islamic State in separate offensives around Deir al-Zor.
The government side has advanced into the city from the west. Last week, they broke an Islamic State siege of the provincial capital, which sits on the western bank of the river.
The Deir al-Zor military council, fighting as part of the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), has meanwhile advanced toward Deir al-Zor from the eastern side of the river since launching an offensive into the province a week ago.
Military council commander Ahmed Abu Khawla warned government forces and their militia allies against firing across the river as his fighters close in -- something he said had happened in recent days.
“Now we have 3 km between us and the eastern riverbank, once our forces reach the area, any shot fired into that area we will consider an attack on the military council,” he said.
“We have notified the regime and Russia that we are coming to the Euphrates riverbank, and they can see our forces advancing,” he said. “We do not allow the regime or its militias to cross to the eastern riverbank.”
But Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said the Syrian army had already crossed. 
I had read that indeed SAA had crossed the Euphrates..


 The Syrian forces, backed by an array of allies, keep fast advancing in Deir ez-Zor fronts against ISIS terrorist group, raising hackles of the Americans who decided to deploy the Washington-backed militias to the strategic city in a bid to not fall behind the other actors in competition in eastern Syria.
The Deir ez-Zor city is located in Syria’s east and is considered a gate to the neighboring Iraq. Major part of the city, except for some small neighborhoods, fell to the terrorists in the initial stages of the Syrian conflict and remained as such to date.
During the past five years, al-Nusra Front, an affiliate of al-Qaeda in Syria, and then ISIS went to great lengths to fully seize control what remained of Deir ez-Zor but tough resistance to the various offensives by the encircled government forces frustrated the terrorist groups’ efforts.

If the terrorists’ push to control the remaining districts of Deir ez-Zor was successful, the whole eastern Syria could have been considered a fallen part of the country, meaning it was almost impossible for the government forces to return and launch a recapturing campaign in the area, according to the analysts.

Fall of the eastern Syria to the terrorists was the US long-standing dream and Americans spared no efforts to realize it, and even occasionally operated as ISIS terrorist group’s air power covering the terrorists’ attacks by air raids to wrest the remaining parts from the army forces. During the past two years, the American fighter jets bombed the Syrian state forces at least twice in Deir ez-Zor, for example, opening the way for immediate anti-army attacks by ISIS terrorists. However, the US failed to materialize goals on the ground as the stiff resistance by the protective forces, especially Lebanon’s Hezbollah, continued to deal blows to the advancing militants. The US claimed that its warplanes meant to target the ISIS forces in the area and mistakenly hit the Syrian army units.

According to the Syrian media familiar with the Deir ez-Zor developments, Hezbollah in June 2016 sent first batch of its elite units to the provincial capital of Deir ez-Zor through a heliborne operation. The deployment came after the Lebanese group showed effective role in the then-ongoing Aleppo recapture operation and at the same time, ISIS considerably stepped up attacks on the government forces trapped in Deir ez-Zor.

Apparently nobody believed the US account that the American jets mistakenly attacked positions of the Syrian army in Deir ez-Zor as the Washington plans and strategy in east of the war-ravaged country were clear to all. The Americans struggled to contribute to full seizure of eastern Syrian regions in a bid to create a wide gap with Iraq on its western border with Syria. This agenda served a bigger goal that wanted to prevent ground connection across the Axis of Resistance’s territories starting from eastern Iran and ending in the western Syria and southern coasts of the Mediterranean Sea.

Analysts argue that the US attempts to foil any route contacts between the Resistance camp’s countries that also include Iraq and Lebanon come to serve the Israeli security. The US concerns even doubled as in late June the Secretary-General of Hezbollah Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah warned that the future war waged by the Israeli regime against Syria or Lebanon could draw thousands of fighters taking Hezbollah side from the allied countries.

Now that Resistance camp’s forces are in Deir ez-Zor and the three-year siege on the government forces is broken, not only the city sees end of daily plight but also the US meets its plans’ heavy failure there. Despite that, it appears that Washington has yet to forsake its dreams as it seeks share in the post-ISIS Deir ez-Zor.

A week after Deir ez-Zor blockade was broken, the American-backed militias, a coalition of Kurdish and Arab fighters dubbed Syrian Democratic Forces, announced launching operation to liberate Deir ez-Zor. The US has repeatedly tried to deploy these forces to the city, but ethnic challenges between the Kurds and Arabs as well as the priority of Raqqa operation, the de facto capital of the self-proclaimed ISIS caliphate, stripped Washington of effective militant force to attack Deir ez-Zor. Now the situation urges the US to send the allied militants, who also have backing of the American troops, to spoil Syrian army forces’ gains in the strategic city.

Nevertheless, analysts suggest that the US-backed fighters are not that ready for combat, unlike the Resistance camp that has cultivated strong resolution to link Syrian borders to Iraq’s, making it unlikely for Washington to see its objectives in Syria’s east realized.
Iraq is pushing towards it's border with Syria as I write this post:
The Iraqi military has launched an offensive to retake a key town on the border with Syria from Islamic State (IS) fighters.
A spokesman for Iraq's Joint Operations Command said on September 16 that forces were moving on the town of Akashat as part of the government's effort to regain control of its border.
SAA and allies are also headed towards the Iraqi border. Southfront
On Saturday, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and Hezbollah launched a large-scale anti-ISIS operation to reach al-Bukamal city at the Syrian-Iraqi border.

And USrael may just need a pretext to block this progress...
The placement of Russian, Iranian and Turkish troops in Syria cannot please the Usrael team- And is very dangerous when thinking in terms of a WW3 scenario


1 comment:

  1. should mention:

    MOSCOW, September 16. /TASS/. US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov had a phone conversation on Saturday to discuss the situation in Syria, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on its official

    The two top diplomats discussed "the current situation in the Syrian settlement, including tasks of anti-terrorism struggle "on the ground," implementation of decisions made during the international meeting on Syria in Astana on September 14-15 and preparations for another round of political process in Geneva," the ministry said.

    Lavrov and Tillerson also discussed the situation in Ukraine, including "the need to step up effort in implementing the Minsk Agreements on settling the crisis in southeastern Ukraine."

    The conversation was held at the US side’s initiative.

    During the previous phone talk that took place on Friday, the Russian and US top diplomats discussed the de-escalation zones in Syria, which became the focus of the sixth round of Syrian reconciliation talks in the Kazakh capital Astana on September 14-15.

    The seventh round of consultations in scheduled for late October. It will focus on the efficiency of de-escalation zones.

    doesn't appear by this reporting Tillerson took Lavrov to task regarding these alleged airstrikes