forces in Syria attacked by the U.S.-led coalition on Wednesday
included “Russian mercenaries,” according to a Pentagon
official, CBS reports.
true, CBS notes, this incident would mark the first
time a U.S. airstrike has killed Russians in Syria.
attack on pro-government forces allegedly took place in response to
an “unprovoked attack” by Syrian forces against
what CNN termed “a
well-established Syrian Democratic Forces headquarters where
coalition advisers were working with US-backed Syrian fighters.”
that according to Pentagon officials, Russia was not looking to
attack the U.S. military presence but had its sights set on
oil field nearby,
which the SDF had seized from ISIS.
coalition claimed to have killed at least 100 Syrian troops in
response to an attack that killed zero U.S. personnel or Syrian
Democratic Forces (SDF) fighters.
Thursday, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, living up to his
nickname “Mad Dog,” said the situation was “perplexing” and
that he had “no idea why they would attack.” If another country
had invaded the United States and set up bases of its own, one can
imagine how the U.S. government would direct its military to respond.
Most likely, such a scenario would not be so perplexing if the tables
were turned against the U.S. government.
also said he was not aware of any Russian casualties.
U.S. strike and its overall military presence in general, noting that
it is illegal. Russia’s U.N. ambassador, Vassily
Nebenzia, said he
told the U.N. Security Council that the attacks on Syrian forces were
“inadmissible” and “deplorable” and that they cannot be
repeated regardless of any justification by his American
added that “to confront those who really fight the
international terrorists on the ground, on the Syrian side, is
April last year, a report published
by the London-based IHS Jane’s Terrorism and Insurgency Center, a
leading security analysis agency, found that the Syrian
government and its associated allies were the most heavily engaged
force fighting ISIS on the ground in Syria. Despite the various
allegations against the Assad government, what Nebenzia is saying
about the U.S. targeting government troops who are in the business of
fighting terrorists has some basis in reality.
is not clear if Russia has a retaliation of its own in mind, but we
would do well to remember that when similar incidents took place last
year, Russia indicated that they would begin
jets if they had to. Almost immediately after this stark warning,
its planes out
of its air missions in Syria, a signal that the situation had,
indeed, become quite volatile.
a bid to avoid further bloodshed, the U.N. has now called for
an immediate 30-day cease-fire to deliver aid and evacuate the
critically ill, but the U.N. Security Council took no immediate
what can only be described as satire in real-life, the U.S. has
the call for
a month-long violence-free period in Syria even though they have
spent billions of dollars contributing