Sunday, September 18, 2016

Deir ez-Zor was no accident

I'm going out on a limb with this - and note that this in no way represents anything but my own, personal opinion - but today's airstrike that killed 62 and injured 100 Syrian soldiers outside of Deir ez-Zor was not an accident. Here's why.

First, the US-led "international coalition" has not previously operated in this area. Though the city is under siege by Islamic State (ISIS), it's an enclave held by the Syrian Arab Army (aka "Assad regime forces" for you mainstream media viewers). There are no US-backed "moderate rebels" anywhere near.

Secondly, the US reaction. The official line is that this was "unintentional." I may have bought that if the strike was conducted solely by F-16s flying at a high altitude, but A-10s are ground-attack planes that can get in low and close. They should have known they were striking a Syrian Army base - especially if they had intelligence on the area, which they say they did.

Now, note the Central Command statement on the incident:
“Syria is a complex situation with various military forces and militias in close proximity, but [the] coalition would not intentionally strike a known Syrian military unit.” 
Not only does the excuse not apply to this particular area, but "would not" does not mean "did not."  

Third, the timing. It's been a week since the Syrian ceasefire was agreed upon by the US and Russia (representing the "rebels" and the government in Damascus, respectively). By this point, the joint US-Russian coordination centers should have been set up, to exchange and coordinate military information and ensure that only ISIS and other groups specifically designated as terrorist (and Washington has fought tooth and nail to save its various proxies from that designation) get bombed. Guess what? The US hates the idea, and has been dragging its feet and moaning about "humanitarian" issues as an excuse not to implement it. Check Friday's State Department briefing for the official spokesman's "reasoning" on this.

“If the airstrike was caused by the wrong coordinates of targets than it’s a direct consequence of the stubborn unwillingness of the American side to coordinate with Russia in its actions against terrorist groups in Syria,” said Major-General Igor Konashenkov, spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry, in response to the attack.

Another thing to keep in mind is that Russia has been trying to make the details of the ceasefire public. Washington has been refusing, without giving a clear reason. The negotiations in Geneva took forever, with Secretary of State John Kerry repeatedly calling Washington for instructions and waiting for hours to get a reply. Well-informed observers are already saying the Pentagon has been against the deal from the start. 

And now Samantha Power, author of the "bomb the entire world because there are genocides everywhere" doctrine of US imperialism - and the US ambassador at the UN - is calling Russia's demand for an emergency Security Council session a "stunt replete with moralism and grandstanding... uniquely cynical and hypocritical.” Because Assad's barrel bombs, or something.

If there were still any doubts that Washington's objective in Syria is not defeating ISIS, but "regime change," there shouldn't be any after today. Now the real question is whether this is coming from the very top, or if someone is conducting his or her own foreign policy - just like in Ukraine. 


Unknown said...

What's up sivi bro?

The saxon empire has gone wild against the (only) true Serbs of Bosnia, yet your anglo-phone still remains silent....

CubuCoko said...

RT is focusing on Syria at the moment, which is a bit more of a priority in the grand scheme of things. The RS referendum was covered well enough by Sputnik, which has correspondents on the ground. I can only stretch so far :)