Syria says US-led strikes on Deir Ezzor a 'struggle crime'
12 February, 2018, 01:35 | Author: Edward Snyder
Syrian state television reported the coalition had caused "dozens of dead and wounded" by bombing pro-government forces, although a commander in the military alliance supporting Assad said seven members of pro-government forces were killed and 27 wounded.
Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said it was "not realistic" to impose a ceasefire because armed groups fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces were unlikely to uphold it.
On Wednesday, the US-led coalition said it carried out several "defensive" airstrikes on Syrian forces in Deir EzZor province in retaliation for what they described as an "unprovoked" attack on the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and foreign military "advisers" who are backed by US. Turkey has demanded that United States troops withdraw from that area.The commander of the US-led coalition, Lt. Gen. Paul Funk, told reporters during a visit to Manbij Wednesday that the USA had no plans to withdraw and would continue working with local forces that are opposed by Turkey.Facing attacks by pro-regime forces and threats by a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally, the approximately 2,000 U.S. troops in Syria could find it increasingly hard to help bring about the long list of objectives outlined by Tillerson last month without additional clashes that could widen the conflict.
SANA said earlier that forces of the US-led worldwide coalition targeted popular forces that were fighting the Islamic State group and the USA -backed Syrian Democratic Forces in the eastern province of Deir el-Zour.
This time around, the U.S. military said that it was exercising its "inherent right of self-defense" in attacking the forces of a government whose territory American troops are occupying without either its consent or any mandate from the United Nations.
Meanwhile, Washington tried to ease tensions on Thursday, with Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White saying in a news briefing that the US was not "looking for a conflict with the regime". "Coalition officials were in regular communication with Russian counterparts before, during and after the attack".
The pro-government forces were "likely seeking to seize oilfields in Khusham" east of the Euphrates in Deir al-Zor province, a USA official said.
Regime forces operating Russian-made T-55 and T-72 tanks fired 20-30 tank rounds within 500 feet of the SDF base, where some US troops were embedded, according to Pentagon press secretary Dana W. White.
The hypocritical Western media, which went largely silent as the United States killed tens of thousands of civilians and razed entire cities to the ground in last year's sieges of Mosul in Iraq and Raqqa in Syria, has suddenly woken up to report the civilian casualties resulting from the bombardments by Syrian and Russian warplanes.
Mattis said Thursday the goal is to create conditions for a UN-led political resolution, though there are no indications one could be achieved anytime soon.
The comments come after the USA clashed with forces allied to the Bashar al-Assad regime overnight Wednesday in eastern Syria. This does, however, reflect the mission creep in Syria, as the defeat of ISIS has meant the USA forces there need a new justification to stay, and fighting the Assad government looks to be it, with the Pentagon already saying part of their pretext for staying is to ensure regime change. Additionally, Turkey has threatened to launch a military operation against Manbij, Syria, a place where United States troops do work with local Kurdish and Arab fighters.
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He did not mention by name Iran or its Lebanese militia ally, Hezbollah, both main players in Syria's civil war. Israel has been warning of late of the increased Iranian involvement along its border in Syria and Lebanon.
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