21st Century Wire — Sept 24, 2016
On Saturday Sept 17, 2016, some of the world witnessed an egregious event which has nudged the world closer to a dangerous World War. That morning, we learned how the US ‘Coalition’ launched a brutal air attack which killed at least 70 soldiers and wounded 100 others.
Washington claimed that this airstrike was a “mistake” and that it was somehow meant to target ISIS near the eastern city of Deir el-Zour in Syria. It was a sustained attack that lasted for 1 hour, featuring repeated bombing runs by US, UK, Australian and Danish aircraft.
More interestingly, after the US took out the Syrian Military, ISIS then came down from the hills and advanced to a better strategic position closer to Deir el-Zour. The following are excerpts from an interview with Syrian army survivors:
“We first thought the aircraft are support to us after the first 2 shots, but we quickly found out that they are targeting our forces aggressively, while we were fighting IS terrorists. The aircraft used cluster bombs against us.”
“A day before the airstrikes, the drones were flying and scanning all the area”
“The US airstikes destroyed all our equipment and defense points.
“IS fighters attacked us immediately after and during the US strikes. Some of them were laughing. US drones and helicopters opened fire from machine guns on our retreated forces.
“It is for sure wasn’t not a mistake, they targeted us intentionally, to help IS.”
Make of that what you will, but US Coalition claims of an “errant strike” ring hollow in the face of mounting facts to the contrary…
The Russian military tried to contact its US counterparts twice to warn them they were launching airstrikes against Syrian government forces before they were eventually halted, a senior US spokesman has revealed.
Col. John J. Thomas, a spokesman for US Central Command, told reporters at the Pentagon that about half an hour into the airstrikes, which were being undertaken by US-led coalition warplanes on September 17, the coalition air operations center (CAOC) received a call from a Russian officer.
The officer asked to speak to the designated contact, but that person was away from the phone. The Russians called back and the representative took the phone call. In less than 5 minutes, “the call to knock it off was put in place and the attacks ceased,” according to Thomas.
However, the damage had been done, as 62 Syrian government soldiers had been killed by the airstrikes near Deir ez-Zor, while a further 100 received injuries.
The CAOC said that it had told the Russian military about its plans to launch airstrikes at that location, as it believed it would be targeting Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) terrorists.
“We never had struck regime targets in this conflict, we didn’t intend to at the time and we won’t in the future. So when we heard that we may be doing that it was our obligation to call it off immediately and that’s what they did,” Thomas said in the briefing.
The Russian Defense Ministry said that the aircraft which carried out the bombings had entered Syrian airspace from the territory of Iraq.
Four strikes against Syrian positions were performed by two F-16 jet fighters and two A-10 support aircraft, it added.
“If the airstrike was caused by the wrong coordinates of targets, then it’s a direct consequence of the stubborn unwillingness of the American side to coordinate with Russia in its actions against terrorist groups in Syria,” Russia’s Defense Ministry spokesman, Major-General Igor Konashenkov, said.