10:18 GMT +326 March 2017
    A-10 ground attack aircraft

    Attack on Syrian Army is 'Case of Pentagon Trying to Show State Dept Who's Boss'

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    Commenting on Saturday's attack by US-led coalition fighter jets against Syrian army forces in the besieged city of Deir ez-Zor, respected Middle East expert Evgeny Satanovsky told Russian media that he couldn't help but get the feeling that the attack was no accident, but rather a consequence of Washington's incoherent Syria policy.

    On September 17, two F-16 fighters and two A-10 ground attack aircraft launched airstrikes in the area of Deir ez-Zor, a government-controlled city in eastern Syria besieged by Daesh for nearly two years. The attack left over 60 Syrian servicemen dead, and wounded over 100 more. In response to the strike, the Syrian Army's High Command announced an end to the Russian and US sponsored ceasefire that stepped into force earlier this month.

    On Wednesday, speaking before the UN Security Council, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov offered support for Damascus, emphasizing that "the [US-led] coalition's airstrikes on the government forces in Deir ez-Zor on September 16 [were] a flagrant violation of the [agreement on the] cessation of hostilities."

    "Immediately after these airstrikes, Daesh terrorists started to attack the Syrian Army," Lavrov added.

    Speaking to Russia's Vzglyad newspaper, Evgeny Satanovsky, respected Middle East expert and president of the Moscow-based Middle East Institute, warned that the situation in the country is quickly spinning out of control, with the US coalition and its 'moderate rebel' patrons sharing the lion's share of the blame.

    "Over three hundred violations and attacks: Washington cannot or does not want to do anything here" (to correct the situation), the expert complained. 

    As for the attack on the Syrian army, "inflicted by the US, the British and the Danes, it shows either that the intelligence of the US and its partners is worthless," or that this is Washington's twisted interpretation of  the meaning of "demonstrating their commitment to the [ceasefire] agreement."

    Satanovsky recalled that until Saturday's attack, the Syrian Army was living up to its side of the Russia and US-sponsored ceasefire agreement, withdrawing heavy weapons from their positions in Aleppo.

    Blasting the US for its cynicism, the expert emphasized the obvious: that Moscow and Washington could not have reached an agreement on a ceasefire in Syria if it included a clause that the US would be allowed to attack Syrian government forces with impunity. Through Saturday's incident, "they immediately, defiantly and blatantly violated the agreement. This demonstration could not have been an accident."

    Accordingly, the expert noted, the attack is likely a product of the long-running conflict between the US military and diplomatic establishment on Syria – an effort by the Pentagon to 'show the State Department who's boss'. "Such an attack could not take place without tacit approval from the White House," Satanovsky added.

    This is far from the first time that the US has showed contradictions in its priorities for Syria, simultaneously supporting 'moderate rebels' and the Syrian Kurdish forces fighting them in the country's north.

    Ultimately, Satanovsky suggested that he is now fully convinced that the sole purpose of the ceasefire agreement was to give the terrorists, particularly those in Aleppo and Idlib, a chance to regroup and resupply.

    Prior to the ceasefire, the analyst recalled, the militant forces in Aleppo were completely surrounded and on the verge of complete annihilation. A portion of eastern Aleppo, Syria's second largest city before the war, is occupied by a ramshackle collection of militants, including forces from the Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, formerly known as Nusra Front. Analysts have repeatedly emphasized that Aleppo's complete liberation would bring the Syrian war close to an end.

    "The course of events has shown that Washington is providing cover for the terrorists, and judging by events in Deir ez-Zor, not just those from Al-Qaeda, but from Daesh (ISIL/ISIS) as well," Satanovsky noted.

    To ensure that such attacks are not repeated, the analyst suggested that Syrian Army units in Deir ez-Zor and Aleppo be equipped with Buk surface-to-air missile systems. "This will dramatically reduce anyone's desire to fly in these areas and to bomb Syrian positions," Satanovsky wryly commented.

    As for Foreign Minister Lavrov's scathing remarks toward his American colleagues in New York, Satanovsky emphasized that whatever the Russian foreign minister might say, it's extremely unlikely to convince the US to live up to their side of the agreement. 

    The world, Satanovsky emphasized, is in "a situation of a Cold War, which is in full swing, whatever the diplomats might say…And the Americans are waging it," refusing to constrain themselves by any trifle such as a signed agreement.


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    expert commentary, expert analysis, airstrike, Daesh, al-Qaeda, Sergei Lavrov, Deir Ez-Zor, Syria, United States, Russia
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    • avatar
      What about Obama's UN ambassador, whom he could fire anytime? Is she also trying to show Obama who's boss?

      [Full speech] Samantha Power blames everything on Russia / defends US actions in Syria

      "This said" (at :54 with full hate-filled body language) means, "Ignore everything I just said before this in order to appear human. Here is what I really believe."
    • avatar
      And here's what Kerry really believes. How is that inconsistent with what the Pentagon wants and with Turkey's invasions, and Israeli intrusions?Looks like all pro-ISIL groups are on the same page to me.

    • OP.
      Good, this is a speculation. But when it´s true, when army competes government, so we are back in times of the USSR. What´s important - something like this is always due the lack of democracy...
    • avatar
      So what Mr Satanovsky suggests? An open world war in Syria?
    • avatar
      I think he got it wrong! I think the state department are as bad as Pentagon, but it would only be necessary to fire a few at the top to get in some more sincere people. Fire Joseph Votel, Ashton Carter and Samantha Powers for starters! May be enough.
    • avatar
      I quote: "suggested that Syrian Army units in Deir ez-Zor and Aleppo be equipped with Buk surface-to-air missile systems."

      What happen to the S-300/400s? What is he talking about "Buk" systems?
    • FlorianGeyerin reply tojas(Show commentHide comment)

      When the narrative and talking points are parroted by Western politicians and media is all sounds and looks very amateur to those of us who are informed BUT the majority of Western people are so self obsessed in trivia that the Western misinformation enables the US to do what it wants.
    • avatar
      Donnyin reply toron(Show commentHide comment)
      ron, I noticed that too and had that immediate question. Then I thought 'why go farther' when you don't have to?
    • avatar
      jasin reply toFlorianGeyer(Show commentHide comment)
      FlorianGeyer, "The Pentagon did it.", like something from a parrot.
    • avatar
      Syrian needs to be provided with the means to defend its airspace. Also create an umbrella to protect its troops from such attacks. After a few so called coalition jets are lost and aircrews captured then they will think twice about doing this again. If the US is so concerned about democracy it should fix its own country first, it sure needs it.
    • Tree Oxygen
      [... the attack is likely a product of the long-running conflict between the US military and diplomatic establishment on Syria – an effort by the Pentagon to 'show the State Department who's boss'. "Such an attack could not take place without tacit approval from the White House," Satanovsky added.]

      Could it be SATAN[ovsky]?
      Who's the Boss?

      Black Flag [Henry Rollins]
      Higher Quality - Liar -
      Led Zeppelin - Tangerine
    • avatar
      Russian bomber love to moderate regrouped terrorist. An excess of moderation.
    • avatar
      I think Syria needs peace. People don't care about gas pipelines and who is controlling them. They need schools , hospitals, food and clean water. But in order to have all that they urgently need 4 S400 systems and hundreds of SU 35 and M 30 and Russians to train them for a couple of decades.
    • Tree Oxygenin reply togiorgoskaz11(Show commentHide comment)
      Need some AS/400 systems too?
    • avatar
      I don't care who, between white house/cia or Pentagon, is guilty.
      The fact is it was u.s.a. military.
    • Jammyin reply tojas(Show commentHide comment)
      jas, Maybe you need to send Samantha Power some flowers because ugly women love to be told they look nice and in the mean time i'll smack Kerry around the face and tell him to do his worse.
    • Adrienne Adonis
      The state Dept and the pentagon are on the same page. It's the typical good cop / bad cop scenario. They both want to stay in control and any country who threatens their control is a target.
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