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    Armed men in uniform identified by Syrian Democratic forces as US special operations forces walk in the village of Fatisah in the northern Syrian province of Raqa on May 25, 2016

    What Lies Behind Claims of US-Russia Clash in Syria

    © AFP 2019 / DELIL SOULEIMAN
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    'Shadow CIA' think tank Stratfor predicts in its 2016 Fourth-Quarter Forecast that at the end of this year, "the potential for clashes" between Russia and the US in Syria "will rise"; however Russian experts explain the real purpose behind these claims.

    The US will "not be in the mood for creative bargaining in the final months of Obama's presidency. The United States will forge ahead with offensives against the Islamic State (Daesh) in Mosul and Raqqa, focusing its efforts on managing competing forces on the ground and maintaining at least a minimal level of cooperation with Russia to de-conflict the Syrian battlefield," says the think tank's forecast.

    "Russia, meanwhile, will concentrate its efforts on reinforcing the loyalist offensive against Aleppo to improve its leverage on the battlefield and thus its negotiating position with the next US president," it further suggests.

    "As the United States reinforces Sunni rebels in Syria and deprioritizes its dialogue with Moscow, the potential for clashes will rise going into the fourth quarter," the forecast says.

    "Complicating the situation is Turkey, which now has boots on the ground in Syria. As it pushes farther south, it will have to rely on US protective cover to avoid colliding with Russia. But trouble between the United States and Russia means less insulation for the Turks," it says.

    However Russian experts have explained the purpose of these forecasts.

    "The US military complex is doing its utmost to support Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in her tough anti-Russian rhetoric and escalation of tensions," Aleksandr Zhilin, head of the Moscow Center for the Study of Applied Problems and a leading Russian military expert told RT.

    "Apparently, these claims are being bought very well in the US, and this hysteria is working well for her," he suggested.

    The expert also explained why the US military-industrial complex has chosen Clinton over the other main nominee Donald Trump.

    Theoretically, it is possible to come to an agreement with Trump," he suggested.

    "For example: let's halt all the military activities in Syria and divide the zones of influence. And he will go for it as he is a businessman. That is why Clinton is a crying need for the US military-industrial complex," he added.

    The expert however explained why it won't be Russia who will clash with the US in Syria even if Damascus resorts to Russia's S-300 air defense systems against the US aviation.

    "The question whether the US army is able to attack Assad's armed forces is no longer essential as they have already done it," he said.

    Zhilin then said that chances are high that the conflict is going to escalate to such a degree that S-300 systems will be used, however it won't be Russia who will do it.

    "We have supplied these defense systems to Syria under the request of President Assad to defend the legitimate regime. And he will be the one to issue the commands whether to down a jet. It will be Assad who will issue the commands and set a task to the General Staff," he said.

    He further explained that Russian experts are working in Syria only as instructors under contract. The Syrians have already been trained and instructed. Hence if the system is used it won't be Russia at the controls, even though Russia will certainly be blamed for downing American jets.

    "The US will not only lose in Syria, what is more, if they start a direct confrontation there will be heavy losses," the expert predicted.

    Anton Mardasov, the head of the Department of Middle Eastern Conflicts of the Moscow-based Institute for Innovative Development suggested that the US is trying to drag out the situation and break-up the agreements on Syria as they need to deliberately delay the successes of Bashar Assad in Aleppo.

    He suggested that the negotiations on the situation in Syria will be resumed but the Americans can't allow Bashar Assad to gain any success as it will give Moscow much more leverage in talks with the US new administration. Thus the current one is trying to slow down the process.

    Related:

    This is What Will Shatter the 'Illusions of Amateurs' Against Russia in Syria
    New US-Led Airstrikes in Syria Could Lead to Direct Standoff With Russia
    Tags:
    confrontation, standoff, Syrian conflict, S-300, Stratfor, Anton Mardasov, Aleksandr Zhilin, Syria, Russia, United States
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