Introduction — Sept 30, 2016
The correspondent who sent us a Paul Craig Roberts piece noted that it was a “rather depressing article” on events in Syria. We are not posting it however, because since it first appeared nearly a week ago events have overtaken it.
In particular Russia’s position over Syria vis-à-vis America has undergone something of a sea-change.
First a U.S. air strike near Deir- ez-Zor, which killed over 80 Syrian troops, was described by President Assad “definitely intentional“. His accusation was underlined by disclosures that the Syrian Army had intercepted radio communications between ISIS and the U.S. military shortly before the U.S.-led Coalition air strikes took place.
Now Moscow has accused the U.S. of effectively supporting terror and even encouraging terrorists to attack Russia. According to Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov:
“We cannot interpret this as anything else apart from the current US administration’s de facto support for terrorism,” he told Russian agencies.
“These poorly veiled invitations to use terrorism as a weapon against Russia shows the political depths the current US administration has stooped to in its approach to the Middle East and Syria,” Mr Ryabkov said.
Echoing Sergei Ryabkov, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova described U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby’s warning of a collapse in cooperation over Syria as tantamount to a call for terror against Russia.
While Russia’s envoy to the UN, Vitaly Churkin accused the U.S. and its allies of supplying Al Qaeda linked Al-Nusra Front with “tanks and heavy weapons“.
In other words Russia is now confronting the fact that the U.S. and its allies are behind most “terrorism”. What will happen next is an open question but the days when Russia compliantly played along with Washington’s “War on Terror” charade may soon be over.
Instead of cooperating with the West in its supposed anti-terror campaign Russia and its allies could soon turn defiant and even confrontational.
The U.S. is already covertly at war through its proxies (Islamic State otherwise known as ISIS or ISIL, and various supposed ‘moderate’ opposition groups) in Syria. That could soon change as the fundamental duplicity behind the “War on Terror” is exposed.
So the “War on Terror” could soon develop into a wider confrontation between those that sponsor and covertly promote terror — the U.S. and its allies — and those that oppose it — Russia, Iran, Syria and maybe China too. Ed.
Russia: U.S. controlling an “international terrorist alliance”
CBS News — Sept 29, 2016
Russian officials accused the U.S. on Thursday of siding with “terrorists” in Syria, in a sign of escalating tensions between Moscow and Washington amid the battle for the northern Syrian city of Aleppo.
U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby’s warning that the collapse of U.S.-Russian cooperation in Syria could lead to a rise in extremism and potential attacks against Russia drew Moscow’s anger.
The Russian Foreign and Defense Ministries both cast it as U.S. encouragement of terror attacks on Russia.
“We can’t assess those statements as anything else but a call, a directive for action,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said at a briefing.
Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said Kirby’s statement amounted to “the most frank confession by the U.S. side so far that the whole ‘opposition’ ostensibly fighting a ‘civil war’ in Syria is a U.S.-controlled international terrorist alliance.”
“What makes Kirby’s statement particularly shocking is that the scale of direct U.S. influence on terrorists’ activity is global and reaches as far as Russia,” he said.
The remarks by Russian officials have shown a degree of mistrust and strain between Moscow and Washington after the collapse of the U.S.-Russia-brokered truce and the Syrian army onslaught on Aleppo backed by Russian warplanes. The growing friction makes it increasingly unlikely that the cease-fire could be revived.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Thursday that Washington is “on the verge” of ending Syria talks with Moscow because of days of deadly bombings of Aleppo by Russian and Syrian planes.
Kirby, asked Wednesday what the consequences would be for Russia if cooperation with the U.S. in Syria collapsed, said “that extremists and extremists groups will continue to exploit the vacuums that are there … which will include, no question, attacks against Russian interests, perhaps even Russian cities, and Russia will continue to send troops home in body bags.”
Konashenkov interpreted Kirby’s statement as a direct threat to the Russian military in Syria. He said Russia remains open for dialogue with Washington on Syria, but added that the U.S. needs to “exclude even a hint at threatening our military and Russian citizens.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said Thursday that Moscow still wants to cooperate with Washington on the Syrian crisis, but blamed the U.S. for a failure to deliver on its pledge under the Sept. 9 agreement to encourage moderate opposition to sever ties with al-Qaida’s branch in Syria.
“Our colleagues from Washington have tried to cover up their inability to fulfill their own obligations with verbal attacks on Russia,” he said.
Russia on Friday is marking the one year since it launched its air campaign in Syria in support of Syrian President Bashar Assad. In light of that, the Russian Foreign Ministry issued a warning to Russians abroad about possible “provocations,” urging them to exercise caution.
The diplomatic tension follows Kerry’s warning that the U.S. will stop coordinating with Moscow unless Russian and Syrian attacks on Aleppo end.
Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov was quoted by Russian news agencies as saying of the U.S. that “a certain emotional breakdown occurred.”
He also reiterated Russia’s stance that a seven-day pause in the Aleppo offensive would give militant groups time to regroup.