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    US Airstrike on Syrian Army: 'Deliberate' Move or Lack of Coordination?

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    The Pentagon has said that the US-led coalition's airstrike on the Syrian Arab Army's base in Deir ez-Zor was unintentional, but Russian officials and lawmakers have been concerned that the attack, the first ever by the US-led forces on the Syrian troops, could have been a "deliberate" move that risks undermining the Russia-US brokered ceasefire.

    According to the Russian Ministry of Defense, two F-16 fighter jets and two A10 ground attack aircraft that entered Syrian airspace from Iraq launched airstrikes against the SAA base in the city of Deir ez-Zor, leaving at least 62 Syrian servicemen killed and more than 100 wounded.

    'Deliberate airstrike'

    First Deputy Chairman of the Defense and Security Committee in Russia's Federation Council Franz Klintsevich maintained that what happened in Deir ez-Zor on Saturday was not an accident.

    "The US conducted airstrikes on government forces in Syria deliberately and thoughtfully. Any aerial operation is coordinated with commanders on the ground. In this case [the US] used information received from their intelligence units who infiltrated Daesh," he told RIA Novosti.

    The airstrike on the SAA in Deir ez-Zor, he added, reflected America's double standards.

    Syrian Army Repels Daesh Attack Near Deir ez-Zor Airbase
    © AFP 2017/ GEORGE OURFALIAN
    Syrian Army Repels Daesh Attack Near Deir ez-Zor Airbase

    'Assad must go': Washington's only goal in Syria

    Klintsevich explained that policymakers in the US pursue a single goal in Syria. "They want to depose President Bashar al-Assad, bring the opposition to power and maintain their economic interests," he said.

    The senator also suggested that the attack could have been "a provocation, a desire to see how we will react." Klintsevich further said that the United States is not really interested in destroying the brutal group that still controls large parts of Iraq and Syria.

    'Suspicious timing'

    Russian envoy to the UN Vitaly Churkin was wary of the timing of the attack. "It is highly suspicious that the United States chose to conduct this particular air strike at this time," he said.

    If the US wanted to help Damascus-led forces defending Deir ez-Zor, "it could have waited several days until the agreement reached by Sergei Lavrov and John Kerry in Geneva on the joint implementation center entered force," the diplomat noted.

    Churkin also said that "some aspects of the situation suggest that it could have well been a provocation." However, he also said that the attack did not mean that the ceasefire deal was over.

    The Russian Defense Ministry spokesman, Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov, noted that if the airstrike was an accident, it was "a direct consequence of the US' unwillingness to coordinate its actions against terrorist groups with Russia."

    Syrian pro-regime fighters walk in a bombed-out steet in Ramussa on September 9, 2016, after they took control of the strategically important district on the outskirts of the Syrian city of Aleppo yesterday
    © AFP 2017/ GEORGE OURFALIAN
    Syrian pro-regime fighters walk in a bombed-out steet in Ramussa on September 9, 2016, after they took control of the strategically important district on the outskirts of the Syrian city of Aleppo yesterday

    'Undermining' the Lavrov-Kerry ceasefire deal

    The airstrike on the Syrian Arab Army in Deir ez-Zor risks undermining the Geneva agreements, Klintsevich said.

    "If similar attacks against the SAA continue, they risk undermining the implementation of the agreement that Russia and the US reached in Geneva," he said. The senator was convinced that the real reason behind the airstrike of the US-led coalition will be made public and many will understand Washington's true stance in Syria.

    Klintsevich also said that Russia and the US have pursued different interests in Syria. "Their interests do not overlap with ours and vice versa."

    US has jeopardized the peace process in the Middle East

    Russian MP Sergei Gavrilov went even further, saying that the US-led coalition's attack ruined the deal unveiled on September 9.

    "I think that the United States has derailed the agreements that Lavrov and Kerry tried to reach. As a result, Washington has jeopardized the peace process in the Middle East," the lawmaker told RIA Novosti.

    Pilots onboard of the US Marine fighter jet aircrafthave flown missions into both Iraq and Syria, part of the over 6,800 airstrikes carried out since August 2014.
    © AP Photo/ Marko Drobnjakovic
    Pilots onboard of the US Marine fighter jet aircrafthave flown missions into both Iraq and Syria, part of the over 6,800 airstrikes carried out since August 2014.

    Gavrilov added that this incident "provides sufficient ground" for Russia to support the Syrian government in its demand on the withdrawal of foreign forces, primarily the US and the UK troops, from Syria, as well as a ban on the US-led coalition flights.

    The Russian lawmaker further said that US airstrikes in Syria could pose a major threat to the Russian military base. "This is why we need to demand that the US adheres to the agreement and drastically enhance our aerial defense capabilities in Syria to provide security to our bases," he noted.

    "I think that our air defense forces and the Russian Aerospace Forces have enough combat capabilities to prevent the US Air Force from flying over Syria," he added.

    Related:

    Pentagon Claims US-Led Coalition Strikes Daesh Supply Routes Near Deir ez-Zor
    US Central Command Says Airstrike on Syrian Army Killing 80 Was an Accident
    US Ambassador to UN: Emergency Meeting a 'Stunt,' Blasts Russia and Assad 'Game'
    Russia's UN Ambassador Argues Bombing of Syrian Army Killing 80 Was Intentional
    Tags:
    Syrian crisis, Syrian conflict, attack, airstrike, Syrian Arab Army, Pentagon, Sergei Gavrilov, Frants Klintsevich, Igor Konashenkov, Vitaly Churkin, Deir Ez-Zor, Syria, United States, Russia
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