RAQQA, SYRIA (June 20, 2017) – Russia who fights on the side of the Assad regime is threatening the US as a reaction to the downing of the Syrian jet.
“Russia will target aircraft and drones of the US-led coalition if they fly west of the Euphrates River”, Russian news agencies reported on Monday, citing the Ministry of Defense.
In addition, the Russian ministry has suspended the contact with the US to prevent incidents in Syrian airspace. This step was justified by the fact that the US had not used these communication channels before the downing of the Syrian aircraft. Russia urged the US to respect the territorial integrity of Syria.
Besides the military leadership in Damascus denies attacks on the Kurds. According to the Syrian military, the fighter jet had attacked the positions of the so-called Islamic State (IS) and it did not target the SDF.The US Army wants to ease tensions between USA and Russia. Joe Dunford, the chief of general staff of the US Army, announced in Washington on Monday: “The security arrangement for the Syrian airspace, which had been suspended by Moscow because of the incident, should be restored as soon as possible. This communication channels has worked very well over the last eight months. This is why this channel should be reopened in the coming hours at the diplomatic and military level.
It was not the first time the US has targeted a threat with US air force. Only a month ago, American combat aircraft had bombed pro-Iranian militia and pro-government forces. They had come too close to a training camp in southern Syria, where American, British and Norwegian special units train the rebels.
USA extends its military power in Syria
There is a collaboration with the SDF that should be of a long-term nature. “The US is in Syria to stay,” say commanders of the SDF. “The Americans are building bases and airports that are set for years, not just a few months.” With the SDF as a partner, Washington can keep up its military presence in Syria and can resist Russia and Iran. In the last few weeks, the Syrian army and its Shiite militias from Lebanon, Iraq and Iran have been pushing forward from the west on the Raqqa. On Sunday, they apparently tried to break through the defenses of the SDF. After clashes between SAA and SDF in the south of Tabqa, the Syrian Air Force has begun to bomb the SDF positions. The US had contacted Russia before the downing of the Jets with the aim to stop the Syrian army’s attack on the SDF. But this attempt was unsuccessful. Then the American fighter F / A 18 Hornet shot down the Syrian jet.
Deir ez-Zor is next in line after Raqqa
The Syrian government seems to have lost Raqqa. But the army apparently continues to disturb the offensive of the SDF and thus to slow their offensive down. Since it is still about the city of Deir ez-Zor and the appropriate province. The Syrian army is already on its way with its allied militia. The SDF try to cut off the pro-government forces. The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) had originally planned the capture of Deir ez-Zor only after the conquest of Raqqa.
With military support from Washington, the SDF is likely to prevent the regime’s advance. The Syrian army has received support from the Popular Mobilization Force (PMU) from Iraq. These are radical Shi’ite associations who receive their supreme command from Tehran. A few days ago, the army and PMU have met in the southern part of Syria on the Iraqi border. From there, they are launching attacks on the IS – with destination route of Deir ez-Zor. Of course this is not in the interest of Washington, which wants to prevent an additional expansion of the influence of Iran in Syria. This in turn benefits the SDF after the US showed on Sunday how serious they are to protect their partners.