Without even bothering to mask its Russophobic positions in the conflict in Ukraine and experiencing a failure in its actions there, Washington is strenuously seeking to unleash a “second front” against Russia in any zone sensitive to Moscow. The United States is actively trying to destabilize the situation in the Central Asian region, to worsen relations between Russia and the European Union, to create a conflict with Japan and in the South China Sea as a whole.
The US has recently begun to take the most significant steps in this regard in Syria, where, with the use of Israel, air strikes on Syrian territory have become more frequent. Despite repeated statements by the Syrian authorities at the UN, Israeli aircraft regularly strike at various targets, including civilian objects in Syria. Israeli aviation does this quite often without entering the airspace of the Arab Republic, acting mainly from Lebanese airspace, which is a violation of international norms, or from the Mediterranean Sea. Since 2013 the IDF has carried out hundreds of such air strikes.
Another such air strike was carried out by Israel on May 12 against the Syrian city of Masyaf, which, according to Al Arabiya, citing a source in the Syrian Defense Ministry, killed five people and injured seven. The Syrian agency SANA clarified that there was a child among those wounded. According to the agency, Syrian missile defense forces managed to shoot down most of the projectiles.
The Syrian leadership has repeatedly demanded that the UN Security Council put pressure on Israel to stop the attacks on the republic, as such actions violate its sovereignty and lead to increased tensions in the region. At the same time, the Syrian Foreign Ministry has often stated that the country has the right to use “all legal means” to respond to the Israeli strikes on the country, which could turn into a serious armed conflict.
In the absence of a proper response from the international community and the Israeli authorities, as well as the cessation of such aggressive Israeli attacks, a retaliatory strike was carried out against this regular Israeli air raid by the forces of the S-300 anti-aircraft missile systems deployed by Russia in Syria. Launches from the S-300 battery were carried out when the attacking Israeli planes left the area. Although no specific damage was inflicted on Israeli aviation, this step nevertheless was a clear demonstration of the readiness to eliminate Israeli aircraft in the future.
In recent years, Israel and Russia have established a so-called conflict resolution hotline so that the parties do not accidentally collide in the skies over Syria. During a meeting in Sochi last year, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed that both nations would continue to implement this mechanism in order to avoid crises in Syrian airspace. Yet, as Israeli media outlets note, “it is still difficult to say whether the S-300 rocket attack was a one-time event or whether it was a signal from Russia to Israel that it is changing its policy.” But in any case, Tel Aviv must heed this signal and, despite Washington’s frank support, stop its air strikes on its Arab neighbor, causing material damage to it and killing civilians.
In order to destabilize the situation in Syria and escalate an armed conflict there, the United States also used unmanned aerial vehicles, striking ground targets on May 7 in the province of Deir ez-Zor in eastern Syria. According to the TV channel Al-Hadath, the positions of pro-Iranian Shiite formations in the areas of Howeija-Katea and Jisr al-Muallaq, operating in the vicinity of US military bases created on the eastern bank of the Euphrates, were attacked. As the channel reports, on May 2 American UAVs also attacked the camps of Shiite fighters in Badiya al-Ashara.
It is worth noting that the attacks on the positions of Shiite militants by American UAVs coincided with gangs of Islamic State terrorists (banned in the Russian Federation) becoming more active in the area attacked by the Americans near the border with Iraq. But it is precisely against these terrorists that Shiite militants are fighting on the side of the Syrian Army.
In Damascus, the armed presence of the United States is considered an illegal occupation, and detachments of the Kurdish “Syrian Democratic Forces” (SDF) cooperating with the US are accused of complicity with the American plans to split Syria.
Under these open violations of the rights of Syria by the United States and its allies, the anti-American reaction of the local population switching to methods of guerrilla warfare against US aggression is not surprising. Hence the increased attacks on American military convoys in Syria, which regularly, in pirate fashion, export oil and other resources from the Arab state. The US military base in the town of Ash Shaddadi in the Syrian Al-Hasakah Governorate was subjected to another mortar attack recently. As the TV channel Al-Mayadin reports, the fire came from the side of the Syrian-Iraqi border. It has been specified that most of the missiles exploded in the vicinity of the military facility, no information about possible losses and material damage was provided.
In early April, four American soldiers were injured during the shelling of an American base in eastern Syria. Two shells were fired at the base, damaging two outbuildings.
In November, residents of the village of Kamo in the Syrian province of Al-Qamishli attacked an American military convoy of armored vehicles, pelted them with stones and forced them to turn around. As can be seen from the footage published by eyewitnesses from the scene on Twitter, not only adult men, but also children threw stones at the Americans, and when the vehicles turned back, some Syrians began chasing them.
A similar story happened in mid-July of last year when residents of the Syrian village of Farfara hurled stones at an American patrol and kicked it out while it was trying to pass through the village.
Vladimir Danilov, political observer, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.