19:27 GMT +315 December 2019
Listen Live
    In this photo taken on Tuesday May 23, 2017, provided by the Syrian anti-government activist group, the Hammurabi's Justice News, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, shows a U.S.-backed anti-government Syrian fighter form Maghaweer al-Thawra stands on a vehicle with heavy automatic machine gun, left, next of an American soldier who also stands on his armored vehicle, right, as they take their position at the Syrian-Iraqi crossing border point of Tanf, south Syria

    US Strikes in Syria: 'Trump Seems to Be Supporting a De Facto Partition'

    © AP Photo / Hammurabi's Justice News
    Middle East
    Get short URL

    By striking pro-government forces in Syria, the United States exposed President Donald Trump’s determination to protect puppet forces that are seeking unsuccessfully to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, analysts told Sputnik.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The US armed forces are defying international law by carrying out air strikes and other military operations within the territory of Syria without the consent of the Syrian government, according to analysts.

    "The problem is that the United States is operating in Syria without consent of its government," Ohio State University Professor Emeritus of International Law John Quigley said.

    On Wednesday, US aircraft shot down a drone operated by forces friendly to the Syrian government after it allegedly fired at a patrol of US-led coalition troops near At Tanf.

    US and coalition spokespersons have acknowledged that they are training and advising what they describe as "partner" forces opposed to the Syrian government at At Tanf.

    Quigley said he did not believe the US-coalition retaliation marked a general change in policy or expansion of hostilities.

    "I think the strike was not part of a general effort to fight pro-Government forces but rather was aimed at protecting the US facility at Tanf," he stated.

    However, Quigley also emphasized that the United States and its coalition partners had no right under international law to operating at At Tanf in the first place.

    The United States "has no right to establish zones into which it will not permit entry," he said.

    Ohio Northern University Assistant Professor of History Robert Waters agreed that the air strike did not indicate any change in US policy, but it confirmed President Donald Trump’s determination to protect puppet forces still seeking unsuccessfully to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

    "Overall, Trump has made clear that he's not going to allow the Syrian government to attack the US-supported opposition — it's the second time in less than a month that US forces have attacked a Syrian government advance on the ‘deconfliction zone,’’ he stated.

    However, the practical result of this continuing US policy was that Trump had in practice committed himself to seeking to partition Syria and leave its legitimate government only in control of a reduced rump territory, Waters explained.

    "I will go out on a limb. He [Trump] seems to be supporting a de facto partition," he said.

    Trump has already allowed his military commanders much more freedom of action than his predecessor Barack Obama had allowed, Waters pointed out.

    "I suspect [the At Taif air strike] was a local decision made within the broad outline of his Syrian policy," he noted.

    Since the chemical warfare attack earlier this year that was claimed by the United States to be a Syrian government effort, despite a lack of proof, US forces were seeking to more aggressively prevent the Syrian Army from undertaking larger operations, Waters observed.

    "After the chemical weapon attack, US forces are keeping Assad on a short leash," he said.

    The new attack could also be part of coordinated US and Arab allied moves to strike at allies of Iraq throughout the Middle East, Waters concluded.


    RT's Simonyan Invites CNN Host to Syria to Meet 'Symbol of Aleppo Suffering'
    Russia Urges US-Led Coalition in Syria to Carefully Plan Airstrikes
    partition, Donald Trump, Syria, United States
    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via FacebookComment via Sputnik