US-led coalition jets have bombed Syrian government forces' positions near the eastern city of Deir ez-Zor
, "paving the way" for Islamic State militants
, the Syrian Army General Command told the state television.
According to Syria's official SANA news agency, the bombing took place on al-Tharda Mountain in the region of Deir ez-Zor and caused casualties and destruction on the ground.
Sixty-two Syrian soldiers were killed and over 100 injured in the airstrike by the US
-led coalition, Russia's Defense Ministry spokesman, Major-General Igor Konashenkov, said, citing information received from the Syrian General Command.
The Russian Defense Ministry said on Saturday that the aircraft which carried out the bombings had entered Syrian airspace from the territory of Iraq. The airstrike against Syrian positions was performed by two F-16 jet fighters and two A-10 support aircraft, it said.
Deir ez-Zor is a strategic city on the Euphrates in eastern Syria. With a population of over 200,000 people, it has been besieged by Daesh since March 2014. The Syrian Army has been steadily re-taking control of the city from the terrorists and was on the verge of a major breakthrough in liberating the city until the Americans intervened on the side of the terrorists, yet again...
Oh well, at least, with this blatant and illegal act of war against the Syrian state, the mask of pretending to be interested in Syria only to save it from terrorism is now well and truly off.
While US jets are coming from Iraq to provide air support for ISIS, Israel continues providing air support for al-Nusra (al Qaeda) in southwestern Syria.
They hate us for our freedoms, remember?
Update 1: Reuters broke the story
by citing Western mouthpiece the 'Syrian Observatory for Human Rights' - which claimed that "Russian jets had been bombing in the same area at the same time".
So far it seems that the US has not acknowledged the strike against the Syrian Arab Army. From Sputnik
The US-led coalition on Saturday said it carried out an airstrike against Daesh terrorist group near the Syrian city of Deir ez-Zor. "Near Dayr Az Zawr, a strike damaged five ISIL [Daesh] supply routes," Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve said in a press statement published on the US Department of Defense website.
Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said on Saturday that coalition planes carried out four attacks on the Syrian government forces near the city, killing 62 servicemen and injuring about 100.
The Operation Inherent Resolve press office declined to comment the issue, referring the question to the US Central Command.
Looks like the US is doing what it always does after committing naked aggression: It plays dumb, obfuscates, minimizes and refers questions to other sections of the Empire.
US Central command now admits
that it 'by mistake' hit the Syrian army.
The United States Central Command released a statement admitting that they hit Syrian Army positions, but claim that they did not intent to target Syrian servicemen in violation of the ceasefire agreement, but were instead targeting Daesh terrorists.
Update 3: Moon of Alabama
US military officials acknowledge responsibility for the bombing attack against Syrian Army positions that paved the way for a major Daesh offensive against Assad government forces and that killed 80 Syrian service personnel, but claimed that the attack was an accident with the intended target being Daesh terrorists.
In the statement, Central Command says that "Coalition forces believed they were striking a Da'esh fighting position that they had been tracking for a significant amount of time before the strike. The coalition airstrike was halted immediately when coalition forces were informed by Russian officials that it was possible the personnel and vehicles targeted were part of the Syrian military."
The statement, provided in full below, goes on to imply that Russia is somehow to blame for the egregious accident that killed the 80 Syrian soldiers because the US claims that it "had earlier informed Russian counterparts of the upcoming strike."
provides some more background details:
Earlier today the Syrian Arab Army had announced that 1,000 fresh soldiers arrived in Deir Ezzor to liberate it from ISIS.
The U.S. planes came from Erbil in the Kurdish separatist region of Iraq.
The Syrian troops were holding positions on Jabal Tharda, a mountain that overlooks Deir Ezzor's airport. The mountain is now fully under Islamic State control. With this IS has firecontrol over the airport and the Deir Ezzor garrison as well as more than 150,000 civilians living under government protection are thereby cut off from supplies and any further reinforcements. Government forces have launched a counterattack to regain the vital position.
At the same time the Israeli air force attacked Syrian positions in the Golan height after al-Qaeda lobbed a mortar towards Israeli forces signaling the need for support. This has become the official format of Israeli support for al-Qaeda in the area with Israel claiming that the Syrian army is responsible for any and all attacks from the Syrian side no matter who initiates them.
Intense attacks from inside the surrounded, al-Qaeda occupied east-Aleppo on Syrian government positions were launched in the late afternoon local time. Fighting there is ongoing.
Earlier today artillery fire from Turkey hit Syrian army positions in Latakia.
The U.S. air attack on Deir Ezzor was certainly not a mistake but well planned.
It is a signal to Russia and Syria. I am not sure though what lunacy it is supposed to convey.
After the Daesh offensive enabled by American air support, the Syrian army has regained control
over the positions lost to Daesh in the assault, including the military airport in Deir ez-Zor.
Opinions are now coming in. Samir Aita
, a member of the Syrian Democratic Forum opposition party, told Sputnik the attack should encourage the U.S. and Russia to enhance their collaboration on the negotiations/diplomatic front:
"Deir ez-Zor is a major element in the fight against Daesh. This 'error' bombing of forces courageously fighting against the terrorists could blow the common international efforts which gained momentum against Daesh. It blows the hope to see it soon being eliminated."
A member of the Saudi-backed HNC, Yahya al-Aridi
, told Sputnik:
"It [Daesh] could utilize this particular strike in order to do something, taking advantage of that to improve its position. ... If there is real coordination on targeting Daesh and targeting terrorism sources, such things would not have happened. Why don't they expose the details of the agreement? And why not making it public? Everybody is perplexed about these things."
Russia has convened an emergency UN Security Council meeting
after the Americans' "accidental" act of war on the Syrian government, demanding a full and detailed explanation from Washington over its blatant aggression and denying that the Americans had informed the Russians of the airstrike (contra CENTCOM's statement).
Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has told Ria Novosti that the Kremlin would demand an explanation at the UN this week.
"We are reaching a really terrifying conclusion for the whole world: that the White House is defending Islamic State. Now there can be no doubts about that. We demand a full and detailed explanation from Washington. That explanation must be given at the UN Security Council."
This appears to be what the Russians have been seeking this whole time: public exposure of US support for 'Islamic terrorists' - and thus its entire modus operandi in the Middle East and elsewhere - at the highest court in the land.
about the American attack. The attack lasted 50 minutes, involved 4 planes and a drone:
Today, at 17:00, two US Air Force F-16 planes, two A-10 planes and an unmanned combat aerial vehicle carried out airstrikes on key Syrian army defense positions around six kilometers [3.7 miles] south of the Deir ez-Zor airport," reconciliation center head Vladimir Savchenko said.
The Russian operation commander contacted the Combined Joint Operations Center in Qatar after being notified by the Syrian side about the attack, he added, noting that the strikes then ended at 17:50. "After the strikes, Islamic States fighters started an offensive in the area. Heavy fighting continues. From 19:00, Russian Aerospace Forces planes are supporting Syrian army units by striking IS targets. A total of 10 strikes have been carried," he said.
Hmeimim group of internal Syrian opposition member Tarek Ahmad
I have no doubts that the United States planned for this strike, it is a provocation. They want to test Russia and to put Moscow in a difficult situation to test its response, to see if the Russians would go and help the Syrian army in this situation. It was clear to everyone that the Syrian army was fighting against IS in Deir ez-Zor, not rebels.
Coalition strike on the governmental Syrian forces is an attempt to prevent the Syrian Army from advancing and taking control over Iraqi-Syrian border. ... The idea is to cut off Syria from Iraq and to create a buffer zone
, another Hmeimim member: "Russia is always on the side of people in Syria. So we expect hard and tough steps and answer to these strikes from Russia. It must be a tough response. We need to make a ceasefire and to make it successful."
The Obama administration released a statement offering a formal apology
for the "unintentional loss of life". These people really cannot get any sicker. And a U.S. Defense official said that the strike "appears to be an intelligence failure."
Geeze, let us count the ways...
UN envoy Vitaly Churkin's statement and press conference at the UN is a must-watch:
Not only does he read excerpts from the secret ceasefire agreements, he points out the U.S.'s only justification for nulling the agreement - the alleged delays of humanitarian aid by the Syrian government - has been solved. Despite the rebels' refusal to demilitarize the Castello road, the first convoy to Aleppo is planned to take place Sunday morning
: "A very complicated scheme was developed for Castello Road, so it could be used for humanitarian deliveries at first, and then, as other preparations are made, — it could be used for other traffic. These preparations are ready, and the first convoy should go tomorrow morning."
from his talk:
"It is highly suspicious that the United States chose to conduct this particular air strike at this time," Russia's ambassador Vitaly Churkin said.
Churkin questioned why the US suddenly chose to "help" the Syrian army defend Deir ez-Zor after all these years, recalling how American forces just observed terrorists' movements and did "nothing when ISIS advanced on Palmyra."
"It was quite significant and not accidental that it happened just two days before the Russian-American arrangements were supposed to come into full force," Churkin added.
War harpy Samantha Power deflected any and all blame and responsibility for the massacre of Syrian troops, telling Churkin the UNSC meeting was a "stunt" and that she had no interest in hearing what he had to say. She then spent 15 minutes 'slamming Moscow's "uniquely hypocritical and cynical" attempt to make Washington explain itself at an urgent UNSC meeting'. Here's some of what she said
Why are we having this meeting tonight? It is a diversion from what is happening on the ground. [SOTT: What's happening on the ground is that the U.S. violated the ceasefire, provided air support for Daesh, massacred Syrian troops, and potentially spoiled any chance of a solution to the Syrian war.] If you don't like what is happening on the ground then you distract. It is a magician's trick... we encourage the Russian Federation to have emergency meetings with the Assad regime and deliver them to this deal. [SOTT: Talk about a magician's trick! Power could slaughter a village of children, then turn and self-righteously blame the village for not providing clean water - when she was the one who poisoned the well. This woman is pathological.]
What Russia is alleging tonight is that somehow the United States is undermining the fighting against ISIL. [SOTT: That is exactly what is happening.] The Russian spokesperson even said that the United States might be complicit in this attack... [SOTT: You dropped the bombs, for God's sake!] This is not a game. [SOTT: Unbelievable.]
The Syrian regime that bills itself as the fighter against ISIL let the group grow and grow. ISIL took root and prospered right next to the Assad regime. [SOTT: While they were already fighting a war against Western-trained terrorists in the west of the country, and while the U.S. sat back while Daesh expanded in Iraq and Syria. Remember, the U.S. watched Daesh take Palmyra - they sat back and let it happen. The Syrians can't be blamed for that.]
Follow the link to read the rest of her drivel.
of the ISIS offensive on Deir ez-Zor. It began 7 minutes
after the U.S. airstrikes. A military source told Fars News Agency that "the air and ground assault were highly coordinated."
The Russian Foreign Ministry is softening their criticism ever so slightly. From a statement made today
: "The actions of coalition pilots -- if they, as we hope, were not taken on an order from Washington
-- are on the boundary between criminal negligence and connivance with Islamic State terrorists.
" Still giving the Americans a chance to save face... But others are still insistent the attack was intention, e.g., First Deputy Chairman of the Defense and Security Committee in Russia's Federation Council Franz Klintsevich
"The US conducted airstrikes on government forces in Syria deliberately and thoughtfully. Any aerial operation is coordinated with commanders on the ground. In this case [the US] used information received from their intelligence units who infiltrated Daesh," he told RIA Novosti.
Iran chimes in
: "This action, which coincided with a Daesh's offensive, indicates that the United States is supporting terrorist groups in Syria
and is also a violation of Syria's sovereignty," Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi said in a statement obtained by Sputnik.
The Pentagon still insists
they gave the Russians prior warning about the strike, but note how they phrase it: "The coalition air operations center earlier in the day notified Russian officials that coalition aircraft would be operating in that area
, and no concerns were voiced at that time." What area, precisely? The Russians say they received no such warning.
Maria Zakharova responded
to Samantha Power's emotional aphasia (she had said Churkin should be "embarrassed" for suggesting Washington is defending ISIS):
"Dear Samantha Power, in order to know the meaning of the word "embarrassed," I highly encourage you to travel to Syria and talk to the people there for yourself. And by that I do not mean the Al-Nusra Front militants, nor the moderate opposition, whose humanitarian situation Washington seems to be so worried about. I likewise am not referring to the Western warriors for justice for Syria. I'm referring to the actual people that continue to live there in spite of the bloody experiment that has been waged on their homeland for over six years, with active participation by Washington."
The Moscow representative went on to say she herself is in constant communication with people on the ground, which includes both opposition forces dispersed across Syrian towns, and the orphaned children left in the wake of the fighting there. "Let's go there together," she said, promising she would shoulder the expenses of Power's Syria trip. "Do say yes. Don't be frightened. Nobody will lay a finger on you in my presence. Unless, of course, your guys don't again 'mistakenly' strike the wrong target. You'll make lots of new memories. And find out what 'embarrassed' means in the process," the Moscow representative added.
Ouch. Churkin was polite
: "What actions, I can not say now, but what I saw today, unfortunately, was very concerning, as my American colleague Samantha Power behaved very strange at the least
. ... This is an unprecedented contempt." Joaquin Flores nailed it
Samantha Power's statements at the UN were deplorable, a real 'low point' in the history of US diplomacy. Of course the US has long been an imperialist power, only before it was able to couch this as the fight against communism. But this total lack of refinement, tact, comportment, sophistication, composure, and basic diplomacy on the part of the US's Foreign Ministry and Press Secretary represents a new low in US history.
Indeed, in standard Russian form, the truth which 'everyone knows' - that the US backs ISIS - is revealed in stages, piece by piece, strategically timed, taking into consideration any number of variables. Western media critics, as well as geopolitical trainspotters and public analysts alike, have for some time been wondering if and when the other shoe would drop. The Russians have gotten pretty close a few times to finally letting the cat out of the bag, and so here it goes ...
Middle East analyst Hafsa Kara-Mustapha concurs
"It was abundantly clear that the targets were the official Syrian military. The idea of dismissing it as a mere mistake is ridiculous."
"The idea that the [US] could actually violate the ceasefire and then complain of being the victims of a stunt is a hypocrisy beyond classical," the analyst said.