The Pentagon has confirmed that US Air Force jets have targeted and hit a convoy of Syrian Arab Army soldiers along with their allies in southern Syria.
According to the United States, the Syrian and allied forces had breached a de-escalation zone inside of which US troops and its allied jihadist forces were stationed.
A statement from the US read,
“The Coalition does not seek to fight Syrian regime or pro-regime forces but remains ready to defend themselves if pro-regime forces refuse to vacate the de-confliction zone”.
This incident is extremely similar to one which occurred on the 18th of May, also in southern Syria near the Jordanian and Iraqi borders.
The US statement continued,
“Despite previous warnings, pro-regime forces entered the agreed-upon de-confliction zone with a tank, artillery, anti-aircraft weapons, armed technical vehicles and more than 60 soldiers posing a threat to the Coalition and partner forces based at the At Tanf Garrison.
The Coalition issued several warnings via the de-confliction line prior to destroying two artillery pieces, an anti-aircraft weapon, and damaging a tank”.
It will be crucial to see if the Russian and Syrian version of events matches that of the US. According to initial reports, Russia attempted to get both sides to stand-down, but as it was on the 18th of May neither side listened. This is merely a sign of the fact that Russia does not seek to impose control over any troops in Syria other than its own, a long stated policy of the Russian government and Russian Defence Ministry.
During the attack on the 18th of May, the United States killed a combination of Syrian Arab Army soldiers, Hezbollah Resistance fighters and Shi’a volunteers from Iraq as well as Syria.
At that time, the Syrian Arab Republic stated that they consider a strike on allied forces equal to a strike on Syrian soldiers. This is of course correct thinking and it also affirms that America’s mere presence in addition to being illegal, allows for war crimes such as what happened today as well as on the 18th of May to occur.
Tragic and illegal though this event is, one must be cautious before thinking that such attacks are part of a larger US scheme.
The US is indeed scheme with Kurdish forces to occupy areas in the north and east of Syria, but the recent US war crimes in the south of Syria, are best understood as over-zealous local American commanders making a point that Syria still needs to perversely ‘respect’ illegal occupiers on their land.
It is not a wholesome situation to put it mildly, but it should not be confused with a more premeditated or concerted effort to engage in open combat with Syrian soldiers and their allies.
In this sense, the statement saying as much was a rare moment of honesty from the US. If one wants to know about what the US really is scheming at in Syria, one should pay attention to Raqqa and Kurdish regions, not the south.