It seems that Washington has become completely carried away by the notion of impunity it has enjoyed in the aggressive and provocative policies it has pursued across the Middle East over the years. To achieve its goals it has been using all sorts of foul play, from staging false flag attacks, to the widespread killing of civilians as well as supporting every manner of terrorism.
However, both American and international media sources refused to remain silent about the criminal role that Washington has been playing in Middle Eastern affairs, reporting to the world all instances of abuse in great detail. One can recall a number of revelations made by The New York Times, including that Saudi Arabia was keeping Washington’s direct participation in various conflicts a secret for decades, while Riyadh sponsored those activities. As early as 2013, the CIA and Saudi Arabia agreed to jointly conduct operation Timber Sycamore aimed at toppling the government of Syria, launching a number of training programs for so-called Syrian “rebels.” In accordance with this agreement, the Saudis would supply arms and provide financial support, while CIA officers would train the “rebels”.
In the absence of any UN resolution allowing it to enter Syria’s territory or some sort of invitation from Damascus, American soldiers operating in Syria constitute an invading force. Syrian authorities have repeatedly demanded America to withdraw its forces from its territory, but to no avail. Washington pays no heed to the fact that international law regards it as an aggressors, as it’s been busy searching for ways to derail the peace process and to discredit any attempts by other international players to genuinely fight the very terrorism Washington has supported since the conflict broke out.
However, in addition to the anti-Russian and anti-Iranian rhetoric that the Western media has been engaged in continuously throughout the conflict, the Pentagon sees no need to restrain itself from launching direct military provocations. One of these provocations occurred in early February around Deir ez-Zor, which resulted in casualties suffered both by the Syrian armed forces and Russian volunteers fighting under the banner of Wagner, a private military contractor (PMC). One can recall that when under the cover of night, ISIS militants attacked the positions of government forces, forcing them to launch a counteroffensive in the direction of the headquarters of the so-called “Syrian Democratic Forces.” The US coalition would launch aircraft operating in the area to wipe out the military installation in the vicinity of Hsham village. To destroy a small unit of pro-government forces, the United States would unleash F-15E warplanes, MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicles, AC-130 close air support gunships, Apache attack helicopters and even B-52 strategic bombers. Naturally, Syrian militiamen expected no such response.
It should not be omitted that on the eve of the sneak attack, Syrian authorities were holding negotiations with the SDF forces and leaders of the Arab tribes living in Deir ez-Zor on the transfer of oil and gas deposits near Khsham. The development of these hydrocarbon fields is overseen by American oil-giant ConocoPhilips.
The commanding officers of the SDF in the Khsham region sent a report about Damascus’ intentions to their “sponsors” in Washington, who ordered the Kurds to send a message to Damascus stating that SDF forces have no claim over those oil fields before withdrawing all of its units from the area. As was intended, SDF forces withdrew from Khsham and replaced by pro-government Syrian militias.
However, the Petagon used this fact against pro-government forces by claiming that they allegedly attacked the SDF command post. The low credibility of the American version of these events is evident by the low effectiveness of the so-called attack, since SDF suffered no casualties and, according to the Pentagon, only one SDF soldier was injured. However, Syrian militiamen were operating at the time heavy armor with artillery support and would have incurred mass causalities had they actually attacked the positions as claimed.
It should be recalled that this is not the first time Washington has used its military to prolong hostilities in Syria, as the US Air Force would attack the positions of Syrian armed forces in Deir ez-Zor back in September of 2016 as well.
The White House seeks provocations against Russia as well. There’s been drone attacks against Russian military facilities in Khmeimim and Tartus, the downed Su-25 in Idlib and countless mortar attacks aimed at the Russian embassy in Damascus by militants backed by Washington.
Against this background, one would hardly find it surprising that Russia tried to persuade Washington to fundamentally shift its approach to the joint struggle against terrorism and the necessity to peruse a peaceful solution to the Syrian conflict. However, when all of these attempts failed to materialize, Moscow was forced to deploy in Syria its newest fifth generation fighter – the SU-57.
According to the Russian media source MixedNews, citing a number of Arab media sources, SU-57 fighters have already taken part in the destruction of terrorist camps in the region of Damascus, which resulted in the liquidation of both radical terrorists and US servicemen. During the air raid, a military training camp of the opposition was destroyed, where US military instructors prepared terrorists for fighting the Syrian army. The number of dead “specialists” from the United States is being clarified, but according to preliminary data, it exceeds 120.
The same media source claims that this was in response to the attack carried out by the US-led coalition against Syrian militiamen and Russian volunteers stationed near Hsham. The act of retribution for the personnel of Wagner, according to Arab commentators, was much more swift and effective than the air parade the US Air Force staged almost a month earlier. It is well known that radical militants were staging a number of terrorist attacks together with Western special services in East Ghouta.
Certainly, any loss amid armed conflict causes compassion and grief and Russia understands this well, where millions of people died during the Second World War in the struggle for the freedom of their country and the freedom of Europe. But back then, those deaths occurred on Russian soil which sparked compassion all across the globe, since most states at some point in their history have also fought foreign invaders.
And yet again, Russian citizens who arrived at the request of the Syrian government are losing their lives against the forces of international terrorism and they should be forever honored for their deeds.
But what is the rationale behind the deaths of American servicemen who die in Syria, Afghanistan and other countries, where the White House is pursuing its policy of armed aggression against targeted sovereign nations? Are they dying in defense of their nation, or for arms manufacturers and special interests rooted in Washington? Washington undoubtedly maintains its view of US soldiers as disposable, just as it did during the Vietnam war era and even more recently following the Iraq and still ongoing Afghan wars where veterans are forced to return home to lives of poverty and misery after their service is over.
Did Syria or Vietnam threaten the United States with a war of invasion? So in who’s name or cause are American soldiers dying today in the Middle East, thousands of miles away from their families and homes?
Valery Kulikov, expert politologist, exclusively for the online magazine ‘New Eastern Outlook’.