Even as ISIS has been virtually eradicated from Syria, things are heating up in the skies between the United States and Russia. While the United States has repeatedly claimed that "fighting ISIS" was the reason behind its illegal occupation of Syria, it is has also stated that it will not be leaving after the defeat of the terrorist organization.
To be sure, there are still ISIS stragglers still acting on the ground in Syria and Iraq but it seems the US has been actively doing what it can to prevent those stragglers from being destroyed by Russian and Syrian forces. As a result, there have been a series of dangerous almost-clashes between Russian and American jets in the skies over eastern Syria. The most recent incident has captured international attention.
As the New York Times reports,
Russian fighter jets have flown dangerously close to American warplanes in eastern Syria over the past month - including one near-collision - in what American officials say is a pattern of daily Russian violations of an agreement to separate rival forces converging on the last main pocket of Islamic State militants in the country.
In one instance, two Air Force A-10 attack planes flying east of the Euphrates River nearly collided head-on with a Russian Su-24 Fencer just 300 feet away - a knife's edge when all the planes were streaking at more than 350 miles per hour. The A-10s swerved to avoid the Russian aircraft, which was supposed to fly only west of the Euphrates. Other Russian planes have flown within striking distance or directly over allied ground forces for up to 30 minutes, escalating tensions and the risk of a shootdown, American officials said.
CNN quotes Lt. Col. Damien Pickart, spokesman for US Air Force Central Command as stating that "The greatest concern is that we could shoot down a Russian aircraft because its actions are seen as a threat to our air or ground forces. . . . As coalition leaders have repeatedly said, we're here to fight ISIS - not the Russians or anyone else."
"We saw anywhere from six to eight incidents daily in late November, where Russian or Syrian aircraft crossed into our airspace on the east side of the Euphrates River," Pickart said.
While both CNN and the New York Times, two outlets historically known for fake news, attempt to portray the Russian moves as a violation of the "de-escalation" agreement between the United States and Russia, there was no agreement that Russia would not fly east of the Euphrates. In fact, quite the opposite. It was Russia who declared, on the basis that the entire presence of American forces in Syria is illegal, that coalition forces west of the Euphrateswould no longer be tolerated.
Russia has responded to the accusations being made by the United States and the western corporate media by pointing out that it was not Russia that was acting aggressively but the United States with the latter attempting to prevent Russia from eliminating ISIS in its entirety.
As al-Masdar News reports,
"An American F-22 fighter actively prevented the Russian pair of Su-25 attack aircraft from carrying out a combat mission to destroy the Daesh stronghold in the suburbs of the city of Mayadin in the airspace over the western bank of the Euphrates River on November 23. The F-22 aircraft fired off heat flares and released brake shields with permanent maneuvering, imitating an air battle," Major-General Igor Konashenkov, the Russian Defense Ministry's spokesperson said on Saturday.
The spokesperson has explained that most of the majority of near-misses between US and Russian planes in Syria and in the area of Euphrates were connected with the Washington's attempts to hinder Daesh defeat.
At the same time, he noted that "after the appearance of a Russian multifunctional super maneuverable Su-35S fighter, the American fighter stopped dangerous maneuvers and hurried to move into Iraqi airspace."
Moreoever, the ministry's representative has noted that the American side has failed to give any answer to the Russian command at the Hmeymim airbase in Syria "concerning this and many other incidents in the Syrian sky".
Despite the attempts to paint Russia's moves in Syria as "Russian aggression," it is important to understand that the entire American occupation of Syria is illegal and thus any action taken by America with the exception of leaving immediately is indeed illegal. At this point, any conflict that takes place between the United States and Russia in Syria is entirely the fault of the U.S.
Brandon Turbeville writes for Activist Post - article archive here - He is the author of seven books, Codex Alimentarius - The End of Health Freedom, 7 Real Conspiracies, Five Sense Solutions and Dispatches From a Dissident, volume 1 andvolume 2, The Road to Damascus: The Anglo-American Assault on Syria, The Difference it Makes: 36 Reasons Why Hillary Clinton Should Never Be President, and Resisting The Empire: The Plan To Destroy Syria And How The Future Of The World Depends On The Outcome. Turbeville has published over 1000 articles on a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, government corruption, and civil liberties. Brandon Turbeville's radio show Truth on The Tracks can be found every Monday night 9 pm EST at UCYTV. His website is BrandonTurbeville.com He is available for radio and TV interviews. Please contact activistpost (at) gmail.com.
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