Editor’s note: A part of the Russian complaint is sincere. Of course the Russians would prefer to be notified of any US strikes, and even better they would prefer it if the US removed itself from the situation altogether. The US parachuting in whenever it feels like it, is indeed an uncontrolable wild card they could do without, but at the end of the day if the US is going to be dropping in like that, the Russians much prefer the Americans drop in with strikes on rebels and therefore boosting Russia’s legitimacy in backing Assad against them. As a bonus the Russians also then get the satisfaction of being able to feint moral outrage at US strikes on AQ as the US does to them daily.
A US airstrike on Syria’s Idlib province has left numerous casualties and major destruction, the Russian Center for Reconciliation of Opposing Sides in Syria (part of Russia’s Defense Ministry) said in a statement on Sunday.
The US carried out the airstrike at 3 p.m. on August 31 on an area between Ma’arrat Misrin and Kafr Haya, the center reported.
“There are numerous casualties and a major destruction in the settlements targeted by the US airstrike,” the center said, stressing that this strike came in violation of the earlier reached agreements because Washington had not notified Russia and Turkey about its plans.
The Russian military notes that the US has jeopardized further implementation of the ceasefire in the Idlib de-escalation zone and also disrupted it in a number of areas. According to the center, such steps of Washington, which keeps accusing Russia of its alleged indiscriminate shelling in the Idlib de-escalation zone, are raising eyebrows.
“Despite the shellings carried out by militants, provoked by the US strike, the Syrian forces are currently observing a moratorium on carrying out combat actions in the interests of achieving peaceful settlement in the Idlib de-escalation zone as soon as possible,” the statement reads.
According to the Russian military, at 6 a.m. on August 31 at the initiative of Russia and Turkey the Syrian army unilaterally declared a ceasefire across the Idlib de-escalation zone, and notified all parties to the conflict. “Over the past day the government forces have strictly complied with their undertaken commitments. Flights of combat aviation of Russia’s Aerospace Defense Forces and the Syrian Air Force have been fully suspended,” the center said.
The US airstrike on Syria’s Idlib province is aimed at showing that Washington is not going to reckon with anyone’s stance and keeps playing an active role in Syria, Russian Senator Konstantin Kosachev said, stressing that such steps imperil the ceasefire in the region.
“The US airstrike on the de-escalation zone in Syria’s Idlib, which came in violation of all agreements and without preliminary notification of key powers fighting terrorism in the region – Russia and Turkey, was delivered in order to first of all, show that Washington is not planning to reckon with anyone else and second, that it keeps an active role in the Syrian process,” Kosachev, who chairs the Russian Federation Council (upper house) Foreign Affairs Committee, wrote on his Facebook page.
Kosachev has branded this as a classic US “Hiroshima principle,” when the key target of a demonstrative attack is not an enemy, who has been basically defeated, and civilians suffer more from the strike. The lesson is directed at other US opponents, the direct attack on whom isn’t worth the effort, but the goal here is to show who “runs the house.”
According to the senator, this is “a rather mean method” that jeopardizes a vital ceasefire in the conflict zone.
“But for the US it is of principle: either we say or no other way. Well, we don’t need peace in Syria as a whole, we need everyone to speak about the victory and the leading role of America. And certainly, the US allies, especially those who speak a lot and snobbishly about casualties about civilians during the operations of Russia or the Syrian authorities, will once again turn a blind eye to those killed by US strikes. Why doesn’t this surprise anyone? Double standards are normal for politics,” Kosachev said.
The US carried out an airstrike at 3 p.m. on August 31 on an area between Ma’arrat Misrin and Kafr Haya, the Russian Center for Reconciliation of Opposing Sides in Syria (part of Russia’s Defense Ministry) said in a statement on Sunday. The airstrike has left numerous casualties and a major destruction, the center said.