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Complicated Syrian Battlefield Increases Chances of Air Strikes Hitting the Wrong Targets
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The battlefield in Syria and Iraq is getting more complicated by the day. The Syrian government says that US aircraft attacked Saeqa army camp, firing nine rockets that killed three soldiers and wounded 13. This is denied by the US military, which says it is “certain” that Russian aircraft carried out the attack.

It is impossible to be sure what really happened. But the alleged air strike underlines the extent to which those involved in the war are intertwined and pursue separate enemies and agendas. The attack took place in Deir Ezzor province, which is mostly controlled by Isis, but there are pockets of government held territory such as Saeqa camp.

Western governments have alleged that the Syrian government has not been fighting Isis in the east of the country. This is largely untrue, but President Bashar al-Assad has played down the conflict there because it has produced a series of government defeats by Isis which has filmed its fighters executing Syrian soldiers by shooting or decapitation. Syrian forces backed by Russian airpower are now intending to launch an offensive to recapture Palmyra, which Isis captured in May.

Eastern Syria is mostly held by Isis, but the Syrian Kurds have taken much of the northern border area, cutting Isis off from Turkey. Ankara is adamant that it will not allow the Kurds to attack west of the Euphrates to close Isis’s last access and exit point to the outside world. The US is pressuring Turkey to seal the border to Isis by sending up to 30,000 troops to close off the area from the north. The Russians have increased their bombing of the border area in north-west Syria to seal off non-Isis Syrian opposition forces from Turkey.

Many foreign powers and their local proxies are fighting for supremacy in Syria, but none has so far shown the strength to win. Russian air support has enabled the Syrian army to recover from setbacks earlier in the year, but has not given it a decisive advantage.

A map of the ground war would show a jigsaw puzzle of different parties in control of different bits of territory. With the Russians increasing their air strikes since the Turks shot down a jet last month and the US and France, now joined by Britain, doing the same, there is an increasing risk of aircraft hitting the wrong target.

(Republished from The Independent by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: ISIS, Russia, Syria 
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  1. Rehmat says:

    In case you have not noticed, the US-Israel and their “willing partners” have been hitting the wrong targets, such as, civilians, anti-ISIS military targets, oil pipelines not under ISIS control and infrastructure for the last three years.

    After 14 years “the western countries” also still believe that someone on his deathbed in Tora-Bora caves in Afghanistan pulled the Twin Tower buildings on September 11, 2001.

    Syrian army has been fighting the pro-Israel ISIL throat-cutters from day one. It was joined by Lebanese Shia fighters and Iranian military trainers a year later. Since then, the Western armed and funded militants have been retreating to Turkey and Israel with their tails between their legs.

    Israel is the brain behind the ISIL’s agenda to bring an anti-Hizbullah regime change in Baghdad. Hizbullah is the only Arab militants who have defeated the ‘Mighty’ Israel Occupation Force, not once but twice – in 2000 and 2006.

    In June 2014, Netanyahu in his first comment on ISIS victory in Iraq, said that Washington should stay out of the Iraqi conflict – and let the Sunni militants defeat the Shia-dominated government of prime minister al-Maliki and break-up Iraq. “This will weaken Iranian influence in the Arab region,” said Netanyahu during his address at Tel Aviv University’s INSS think-tank.

    http://rehmat1.com/2014/06/30/netanyahu-isis-is-good-for-israel/

  2. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Give the stated tempo of Russian air strikes and the cost of precision guided munitions t would not be surprising if Russians are using lower cost gravity bombs and unguided rockets that go astray. Its not as if Putin is particularly concerned about collateral damage.

  3. Kiza says:

    The Syrian government says that US aircraft attacked Saeqa army camp, firing nine rockets that killed three soldiers and wounded 13. This is denied by the US military, which says it is “certain” that Russian aircraft carried out the attack.

    As soon as I heard this totally expected news, I spoke with a friend of mine and we both agreed that the US would blame the Russians for this attack, as they immediately did, even though only the US has been bombing this province of Syria in the past. The Coalition of the Sponsors of Terrorism will keep trying to provoke the Syrian Arab Army to defend itself, and then a full-scale Western attack will ensue – this has been the simple plan from the start of the “anti-ISIS” military intervention in Syria.

    Syrian forces backed by Russian airpower are now intending to launch an offensive to recapture Palmyra, which Isis captured in May.

    And this is exactly why the US airforce is now directly aiding ISIS.

    The US is pressuring Turkey to seal the border to Isis by sending up to 30,000 troops to close off the area from the north.

    This is the main BS that Cockburn, the British propaganda BS-er, is selling in this article: that Turks are assembling 30,000 troops on the border to seal the border/fight ISIS instead of crushing the SAA. Are there really any British who believe this scumbag?

  4. The war in Syria is a proxy war like Vietnam. It only seems complicated because of the tangle of Imperial lies and propaganda. The outcome is not in doubt. Russia and China are ascendant. The Empire is in steep decline. Questions remain of course. Will the war engulf Europe? It already has a foot hold in Ukraine. Will the Empire prefer nuclear winter to defeat? Stay tuned.

  5. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    ” . . . . . It is impossible to be sure what really happened. . . . . . ” SERIOUSLY – that is your comment. The US & Russia will have multiple sources of electronic data to know / PROVE exactly what did & did not happen here. My money is on a DELIBERATE aerial attack to coincide with the ISIS ground offensive.

    The US NON bombing of ISIS targets, the 45 minute warnings via leaflet drop to ISIS targets (damn sure all the wedding parties, MSF, etc., have never had any warnings, let alone 45 minutes). And the continual “Ooops – we air dropped the ammo & weapons to ISIS by accident” events that are still going, on proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that the US Air force is ISIS’s air force

    Maybe the first couple of sentences just represent lazy writing on your part. But as the majority of readers rarely get past the first few paragraphs, to my mind these statements border on misinformation. You, like so many other liberal writers, have been relegated to my untrustworthy list. And I AM a liberal – an increasingly disappointed one as I see more & more once respected people take the 30 pieces of silver.

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