Upping the Stakes in Syria. Towards Military Confrontation with Russia?
By Stephen Lendman
Global Research, June 20, 2017

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After over six years of US aggression in Syria, falsely called civil war, nothing surprises.

On Sunday, Syria’s military said the so-called US-led “international coalition” downed one of its warplanes during a combat mission against ISIS terrorists about 30 km south of Raqqa.

The pilot is missing. It’s unknown if he’s alive or dead. A Syrian military statement said the following:

“The attack stresses coordination between the US and ISIS, and it reveals the evil intentions of the US in administrating terrorism and investing it to pass the US-Zionist project in the region.”

“Such aggressions would not affect the Syrian Arab army in its determination to continue the fight against ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist organizations and to restore security and stability to all Syrian territories.”

A US-controlled so-called Operation Inherent Resolve statement lied, saying

“a Syrian regime SU-22 dropped bombs near SDF fighters south of Tabqah and, in accordance with rules of engagement and collective self-defense of Coalition partnered forces, was immediately shot down by a US F/A-18E.”

The action was the latest US-led lawless attack on Syria’s military, fighting to liberate the country from US-backed terrorists – ISIS and all other anti-government forces. No so-called “moderate rebels” exist.

Syrian forces expanded operations in northern areas, liberating three villages near the Atreya-Resafa-Raqqa highway.

Washington wants Syrian sovereignty destroyed, the country balkanized, northern and southern areas separated from Damascus under US control.

Sergey Lavrov (credits to the owner of the photo)

Russia’s only response so far was Sergey Lavrov calling on the Trump administration to respect Syrian territorial integrity and refrain from unilateral actions in the country – comments falling on deaf ears in Washington.

Downing a Syrian warplane after earlier US attacks on its military ups the stakes in the country, escalating conflict Russia continues going all-out to resolve diplomatically.

On Monday, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, international affairs advisor to Iranian parliament Speaker Ali Larijani, blamed Saudi Arabian security services for the June 7 terrorist incidents in Tehran, saying:

“The existing documents are proof of the US and Saudi Arabia’s continued manipulation of terrorism in the region and the world. Their strategy and policy (are) to draw out regional crises in order to carry out their own agendas…”

After the Tehran incidents, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said his country’s intelligence shows Riyadh “actively” supports terrorist groups along Iran’s eastern and western borders.

In retaliation for the June 7 attacks, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) launched ground-to-ground missiles, targeting an ISIS Deir Ezzor command post.

An IRGC statement said

“(t)he spilling of innocent blood will not go unanswered. (N)o efforts (will be spared) to defend (Iran’s) national security and obviate plots as well as anti-security phenomena.”

Along with Russia, Iran actively aids Syrian and allied forces combat the scourge of US-backed ISIS and other terrorist groups in the country.

Self-defense is a universally recognized right – naked aggression the highest of high crimes. America and its rogue allies stand guilty as charged. Their alliance is humanity’s greatest threat.

On Monday, Almasdar News reported “(i)ntense clashes…between” Syrian and US-backed forces west of Raqqa, saying:

Government troops “attempted to cross (their) front lines…to rescue their fallen pilot (if alive). (T)hey were turned” back.

Fierce fighting is ongoing between both sides “near the key town of Resafa in western Al-Raqqa.”

Hawkish generals running Trump’s military operations in Syria and elsewhere want endless wars continued – at some point, risking direct confrontation with Russia.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected].


My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

Featured image: WFAA-TV

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