U.S. Allies ‘Volunteer’ To Share (Implausible) Blame For Deir Ezzor Attack

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U.S. Allies 'Volunteer' To Share (Implausible) Blame For Deir Ezzor Attack

A-10

Originally appeared at MoonOfAlabama

The U.S. is trying to distribute the blame for its air support of ISIS against the Syrian Arab Army in Deir Ezzor.

The facts, not put into doubt by any U.S. statement, via the Russian military report after Saturday’s incident:

“Today at 17:00-17:50 Moscow time, international anti-Daesh coalition (two F-16 and two A-10 jets) carried out four strikes on Syrian government forces’ units encirled by Daesh near Deir ez-Zor airport. The coalition’s aircraft entered Syrian airspace from the side of the Iraqi border,” Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said.

As a result of the attack, 62 Syrian soldiers were killed and some 100 others were injured, according to information received from the Syrian command in Deir ez-Zor, he said.

The Syrian government now says some 82 soldiers were killed in the attack which also destroyed 3 T-72 tanks, 3 infantry fighting vehicles, an anti-aircraft gun and at least 4 mortars. Following the attack the Islamic State troops stormed the Syrian government position on the Jabal Thardeh hill. They are now able to harass the airport of Deir Ezzor, the only supply line for the ISIS besieged city and the 150,000+ civilians living there under government protection.

We note that this was not the first U.S. attack on Syrian government forces in Deir Ezzor. Back in December 3 Syrian soldiers were killed in an air raid.  In June a U.S. air attack on Manbij killed some 100 civilians. No U.S. attack on any ISIS target in Syria ever came near such casualty numbers.

It is very doubtful that this was not an intended attack. Even Human Rights Watch recognized Saturday’s mass murder as “signal” to the Syrian government (before deleting its tweet).

Now the blame has to be spread.

Early Sunday Australia jumped in claiming its jets had taken part in the attack:

Australian aircraft were involved in a US-led coalition operation which killed dozens of Syrian soldiers stationed near Eastern ISIS stronghold city of Deir Ezzor, the Australia’s Defense Department confirmed.

“Australian aircraft were among a number of international aircraft taking part in this Coalition operation,” the Defense Department said in a statement.

Late Sunday the Danes followed:

“Two Danish F-16 [fighter aircraft] participated in these attacks along with the aircraft of other nations. The strikes had been stopped immediately after the Russian side reported that the positions of the Syrian servicemen had been hit,” the military command authority of the Danish Armed Forces said in a statement issued Sunday.

This morning, the BBC defense correspondent says, the UK also claimed guilty:

Jonathan Beale @bealejonathanBBC understands @RoyalAirForce jets might have been involved in #Syria Airstrikes that killed 60 + Syrian soldiers.

Four planes attacked and four airforces claim to have been part of it? That is neither plausible nor realistic.

Only the U.S. operates A-10 ground attack planes. Neither the U.K nor Australia own or operate F-16 fighters. While the Danish airforce deployed F-16s to the Middle East theater, those planes were send to only operated in Iraq, not in Syria:

Denmark will send seven F-16 fighter jets to help combat IS militants in Iraq, Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt said on Friday.”I am very pleased that there now is a broad coalition, including countries in the region who want to… contribute,” she said at a press conference, adding that the Danish fighter jets would not join US planes in bombing targets in Syria.

Additionally the Syrian military said that the planes came from Erbil in the Kurdish ruled northern part of Iraq. No other nation but the U.S. is known to use the Erbil facilities for fighter flights.

The drones which had kept surveillance over the area were also U.S. ones:

The strike began in the early evening, when planes attacked a group of vehicles that American surveillance aircraft had been watching for several days, according to a Centcom official ..

Obviously someone in a U.S. command phoned up U.S. allies and asked them to please share the blame for the “mistaken” U.S. air support for the ISIS ground attack: “If all are guilty, no one is guilty and no one can be punished.”

A famous book and movie is the template for such play:

As Poirot pursues his investigation, he discovers that everyone in the coach had a connection to the Armstrong family and, therefore, had a motive to kill Cassetti. Poirot proposes two possible solutions … The first solution is that a stranger boarded the train and murdered Cassetti. The second one is that all 13 people in the coach were complicit in the murder, seeking the justice that Cassetti had escaped in the United States. He concedes Countess Helena Andrenyi didn’t take part, so the murderers numbered 12, resembling a self-appointed jury. Mrs. Hubbard .. confesses that the second solution is the correct one.

The U.S. says some 67 nations have joined its “coalition” against ISIS. Eight more U.S. allies will soon be found who’s planes took also part in the raid: “What about that PA-18 from Luxembourg?”

With many parties claiming the crime the one real culprit can not be convicted. This new Murder on the Orient Express will stay unpunished.

The ceasefire in Syria is breaking down. The U.S. did not fulfill its promise to separate its “moderate rebel” proxy forces from al-Qaeda. No smokescreen of lamenting about humanitarian access can change that fact.

The Russian and Syrian airforce will soon go back to work. Any soldiers of the U.S. “coalition” in Syria should watch out for those planes. If the U.S. and its allies can make “mistakes” like in Deir Ezzor, others may also show imperfections in their operations.

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  • Ma_Laoshi

    This is America’s allies confirming that they’re still with their boss when said boss attacks the Syrian army. Russia is being intimidated with a clarification that it faces the whole US-led coalition unless it gets out of Syria. And what has Russia DONE in response? Nothing. After the Hasakah incident, the US announced a sort-of no-fly zone for the Syrian Air Force over areas with US troops present, which did not meet any Russian protest. Even this modest step (American planes must stay away from areas with SAA forces) is not being mirrored now.

    Russia is being defeated.

    • Adam Kafei

      We’re all frustrated by Russia’s inaction on this matter but as you rightly point out, in any confrontation with America Russia faces America’s vassals too and she likely can’t fend off all of them at home right now, let alone away and to try would only serve to weaken the homeland.

      That said, it’s not only Russia who has done nothing about this situation. Iran likewise has done nothing to help fend off America’s aircraft, or Israel’s for that matter.

      Perhaps most important with regard to an effective no fly zone, it’s all well and good to dot S-400s around but you also need the ability to fly yourself and with Deir Ezzor now out of action there’s a large hole in any Syrian no fly zone, with the nearest viable substitute being Iraq’s Ain Al-Assad airbase which would require permission from Iraq to use and potentially bring American and Russian air crews into conflict.

      Finally, you say “Russia is being defeated”, I would agree with you if this was South Ossetia or another Russian protectorate, but this is one of Russia’s (admittedly few) friends and Russia has no obligation to ensure the security of it’s airspace (yet), Syria can ask them to take on that role but I doubt they’d accept it. So long as Russia’s mission profile in Syria remains to support the SAA and to train new units (as oppose to even serving as Syria’s air force, which would oblige them to secure the airspace) Russia’s mission is a complete success and will continue to be so so long as the SAA’s doesn’t lose significant amounts of it’s primary territory.

      • Ma_Laoshi

        Well I agree with you on how hard these decisions must be. Yes I am frustrated but I try to keep a clear mind. I didn’t write “Russia has been defeated” but that’s it’s being defeated. If the envelope keeps being pushed by one side only, a Russian decision to finally push back would be ever harder to make, and as a result they’d slowly be squeezed out of the Syrian theatre.

        I understand that for the Kremlin Syrian lives matter but Russian lives matter more, and that’s as it should be. But please consider the seriousness of the message sent by Washington: “An alliance with Russia is useless: Assad looked to Moscow and he’s still getting bombed. In contrast, US ally Qatar is up to its neck in its mess, but nobody dares touch them.” If this message is allowed to stand, soon it will be Russia’s turn–and then they’d be facing the Empire alone.

        Not much point to drag Iran into this debate. They don’t have Russia’s technology. Also, they buried hundreds of their men already, including some generals, and they’re still fighting. In any case, it’s not them incessantly begging the American enemy for “partnership”.

        • Adam Kafei

          I think you misread my paragraph, I didn’t accuse you of using past tense.

          If you want to not be bombed then an alliance with Russia is futile, but the only way to not be bombed by America is to do America’s bidding. I’m sure Assad knows this and he’s made it clear he’s not playing, that leaves one conclusion and no alliances will spare him this course, even the Chinese who currently have no major issues with the US empire aren’t willing to get involved on the ground or in the air.

          I agree that Russia really needs to stop trying to make peace with America over Syria, they need to accept that it isn’t happening, but at the same time, I should imagine it is in part to appease Iran who not too long ago declared their desire for a political solution rather than a military one, if I recall correctly, they even accused the Russians of getting too involved in the military aspect. Certainly the other aspect is that Russia doesn’t want a direct confrontation with NATO.

          I hope they don’t try again, this ceasefire went worse than the last one.

          While it’s true that the Iranians don’t have Russia’s technology and have buried many IRGC personnel and generals, it’s not the IRGC’s job to be a standing army, they can do it but it’s not their job, that’s why Iran has a regular army which it could use. It’s fair that Russia hasn’t put ground forces to work in Syria, that would give America leave to do the same and we’d have the first open theatre of WW3, but I expect Iran, as a regional power could get away with it.

          • Tom Johnson

            Iran…lol that’s a joke. Russia should get out of Syria and leave the Iranians. The US has a score to settle with the Islama-facist Iranians, we’ll get them back to Iran, we’ll put what is left of them in little platic bags and send them to Tehran.

          • Adam Kafei

            So you replace an Iran friendly secular government with a terrorist lead Islamist regime opposed by several organised forces and internal divisions because that worked so well in Libya, didn’t it?

        • Tom Johnson

          “Russia slowly squeezed out”? No, it would be within 24 hours that the run way at Khmeimen would be cratered and the S400 blown to bits as well as the S300 radar on the Kuznetsov.

  • Random guy

    4 single seat airplanes, must be kinda crowded in the cockpit with all those pilots:)

    • Doom Sternz

      Firstly US tells us they flew 2 x F16’s and 2 x A10 Warthogs, they didn’t mention anything about coalition members taking part. Then Australia admits to taking part, now Denmark admits to flying 2 x F16’s as well. Its all a pack of lies.

      The United States of Atrocities is obviously working with ISIL, supplying money, training, intelligence, weapons and now an airforce.

      • Random guy

        The number and model of planes was reported by Russian ministry of defence. The allies are just sharing the blame to take off some pressure from US.

      • George Evans

        they will not be content until the peace process is dead…it may well be already there…

        MISSION ACCOMPLISHED..

  • Catfish

    Even if the whole “us coalition” claims to have taken part then add them to the list to at least sue for damages. The point everyone should be trying find out is who gave the pilots the orders to bomb the coordinates that they did in support of isis. I assume it was the pentagon which has been sulking about the thought of working with Russia and had the moive to try and terminate the so called ceasefire. The pilots matter little, although do share responsibility, in this because they were just the dumb animals (as henry kissinger put it) following orders. Whoever gave the orders to bomb those coordinates should be held accountable to put it nicely. Hopefully he’ll at least have an “accident” himself.

  • Tom kauser

    Probably not the Saudis given that they are getting a butt kicking from Yemen and can’t spare any manpower?

  • BT

    my God, 150000 people are now in total peril from the daesh dogs. I’m ashamed of my government.

  • John

    The envelope for all the normal successful nonsense in these kind of incidents has expired. The game is credibility. All nations rely on it. This incident is a big credibility loss for the US and a major win for Assad, Russia et al. Everybody needs friends. No nation is sustainable by itself, in the realm of geopolitics. That fact that other countries are stepping in to bail out the US is telling. It points to a serious decline in position, prestige and credibility. Short term, Syria lost some guys. Long term, a lot of US credibility has been burned up over nothing. Not a good move at all in my opinion. There is a larger game going on and everything relates to it. A good day to all.

  • chris chuba

    Australia: ‘I am Spartacus’
    The Danes: ‘I am Spartacus’
    U.K: ‘I am Spartacus’
    The U.S: ‘Those guys are Spartacus’