Syria - Russian Surprise Attack
Blows Up Kerry's Delaying Tactic
- The U.S. is
unwilling to stop the war on Syria and to settle
the case at the negotiation table. It wants a 100%
of its demands fulfilled, the dissolution of the
Syrian government and state and the inauguration of
a U.S. proxy administration in Syria.
ceasefire in Syria started in late February Obama
broke his pledge to separate the U.S. supported
"moderate rebels" from al-Qaeda. In April U.S.
supported rebels, the Taliban like Ahrar al Sham and
al-Qaeda joined to attack the Syrian government in
south Aleppo. The U.S. proxies broke the ceasefire.
resolutions demand that al-Qaeda in Syria be fought
no matter what. But the U.S. has at least twice
asked Russia not to bomb al-Qaeda. It insists,
falsely, that it can not separate its "moderates"
from al-Qaeda and that al-Qaeda can not be attacked
because that would also hit its "moderate" friends.
foreign minster Lavrov has talked wit Kerry many
times about the issue. But the only response he
received were requests to further withhold bombing.
Meanwhile al-Qaeda and the "moderates" continued to
break the ceasefire and to attack the Syrian
nearly four month Kerry still insists that the U.S.
needs even more time for the requested separation of
its proxy forces from al-Qaeda. Foreign Minister
expressed the Russian consternation:
The Americans are now saying that
they are unable to remove the 'good' opposition
members from the positions held by al-Nusra
Front, and that they will need another two-three
months. I am
under the impression that there is a game here
and they may want to keep al-Nusra Front in some
form and later use it to overthrow the [Assad]
regime," Lavrov said at the St. Petersburg
International Economic Forum.
was full and Kerry's latest request for another
three month pause of attacking al-Qaeda was the drop
that let it overflow. Russia now responded by
hitting the U.S. where it did not expect to be
Russian warplanes hit
Pentagon-backed Syrian fighters with a barrage
of airstrikes earlier this week,
disregarding several warnings from U.S.
commanders in what American military officials
called the most provocative act since Moscow’s
air campaign in Syria began last year.
strikes hit a base near the Jordanian border,
far from areas where the Russians were
previously active, and targeted U.S.-backed
forces battling the Islamic State militants.
These latest strikes occurred on the other side
of the country from the usual Russian
operations, around Tanf, a town near where the
borders of Jordan, Iraq, and Syria meet.
The Russian strike hit a small rebel base for
staging forces and equipment in a desolate,
unpopulated area near the border. About 180
rebels were there as part of the Pentagon's
program to train and equip fighters against
the first strikes hit, the rebels called a U.S.
command center in Qatar, where the Pentagon
orchestrates the daily air war against Islamic
came and the Russian jets went away. The U.S. jets
left to refuel, the Russian jets came back and hit
Allegedly two U.S. proxy fighters were killed
and 18 were wounded.
today another such attack hit the same target.
This was no
accident but a well planned operation and the
Russian spokesperson's response makes the intend
spokesman Dmitry Peskov appeared to confirm the
attack Friday, telling reporters it was
difficult to distinguish different rebel groups
from the air.
Translation: "If you can not separate your forces
from al-Qaeda and differentiate and designate
exclusively "moderate" zones we can not do
near Tanf are supported by U.S. artillery from
Jordan and air power via Iraq. British and Jordan
special operations forces are part of the ground
component (and probably the majority of the "Syrian"
fighters.) There is no al-Qaeda there. The Russians
know that well. But they wanted to make the point
that it is either separation everywhere or
separation nowhere. From now on until the U.S.
clearly separates them from AQ all U.S. supported
forces will be hit indiscriminately anywhere and
anytime. (The Syrian Kurds fighting the Islamic
State with U.S. support are for now a different
Pentagon does not want any further engagement
against the Syrian government or against Russia. It
wants to fight the Islamic State and its hates the
CIA for its cooperation with al-Qaeda and other
Jihadi elements. But John Brennan, the Saudi
operative and head of the CIA, still seems to have
Obama's ear. But what can Obama do now? Shoot down a
Russian jet and thereby endanger any U.S. pilot
flying in Syria or near the Russian border? Risk a
war with Russia? Really?
hit near Tanf was clearly a surprise. The Russians
again caught Washington on the wrong foot. The
message to the Obama administration is clear. "No
more delays and obfuscations. You will
separate your moderates NOW or all your assets in
Syria will be juicy targets for the Russian air
hits at Tanf and the U.S. proxies there has an
additional benefit. The U.S. had planned to let
those forces move north towards Deir Ezzor and to
defeat the Islamic State in that city. Eventually a
"Sunni entity" would be established in south east
Syria and west Iraq under U.S. control. Syria would
be split apart.
government and its allies will not allow that. There
is a large operation planned to free Deir Ezzor from
the Islamic State occupation. Several hundred Syrian
government forces have held an isolated airport in
Deir Ezzor against many unsuccessful Islamic State
attacks. These troops get currently reinforced by
additional Syrian army contingents and Hizbullah
commandos.A big battle is coming. Deir Ezzor may be
freed within the next few month. Any U.S. plans for
some eastern Syrian entity are completely
unrealistic if the Syrian government can take and
hold its largest eastern city.
administration's delaying tactic will now have to
end. Russia will no longer stand back and watch
while the U.S. sabotages the ceasefire and supports
is the next move the U.S. will make?