Wednesday, 21 September 2016

U.S. Allies 'Volunteer' To Share (Implausible) Blame For Deir Ezzor Attack


The U.S. is trying to distribute the blame for its air support of ISIS against the Syrian Arab Army in Deir Ezzor.

The facts, not put into doubt by any U.S. statement, via the Russian military report after Saturday's incident:
"Today at 17:00-17:50 Moscow time, international anti-Daesh coalition (two F-16 and two A-10 jets) carried out four strikes on Syrian government forces' units encirled by Daesh near Deir ez-Zor airport. The coalition's aircraft entered Syrian airspace from the side of the Iraqi border," Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said.
...
As a result of the attack, 62 Syrian soldiers were killed and some 100 others were injured, according to information received from the Syrian command in Deir ez-Zor, he said.
The Syrian government now says some 82 soldiers were killed in the attack which also destroyed 3 T-72 tanks, 3 infantry fighting vehicles, an anti-aircraft gun and at least 4 mortars. Following the attack the Islamic State troops stormed the Syrian government position on the Jabal Thardeh hill. They are now able to harass the airport of Deir Ezzor, the only supply line for the ISIS besieged city and the 150,000+ civilians living there under government protection.

We note that this was not the first U.S. attack on Syrian government forces in Deir Ezzor. Back in December 3 Syrian soldiers were killed in an air raid.  In June a U.S. air attack on Manbij killed some 100 civilians. No U.S. attack on any ISIS target in Syria ever came near such casualty numbers.

It is very doubtful that this was not an intended attack. Even Human Rights Watch recognized Saturday's mass murder as "signal" to the Syrian government (before deleting its tweet).
Now the blame has to be spread.

Early Sunday Australia jumped in claiming its jets had taken part in the attack:

Australian aircraft were involved in a US-led coalition operation which killed dozens of Syrian soldiers stationed near Eastern ISIS stronghold city of Deir Ezzor, the Australia's Defense Department confirmed.
...
"Australian aircraft were among a number of international aircraft taking part in this Coalition operation," the Defense Department said in a statement.
Late Sunday the Danes followed:
"Two Danish F-16 [fighter aircraft] participated in these attacks along with the aircraft of other nations. The strikes had been stopped immediately after the Russian side reported that the positions of the Syrian servicemen had been hit," the military command authority of the Danish Armed Forces said in a statement issued Sunday.
This morning, the BBC defense correspondent says, the UK also claimed guilty:
Jonathan Beale @bealejonathan BBC understands @RoyalAirForce jets might have been involved in #Syria Airstrikes that killed 60 + Syrian soldiers.
Four planes attacked and four airforces claim to have been part of it? That is neither plausible nor realistic.

Only the U.S. operates A-10 ground attack planes. Neither the U.K nor Australia own or operate F-16 fighters. While the Danish airforce deployed F-16s to the Middle East theater, those planes were send to only operated in Iraq, not in Syria
http://www.moonofalabama.org/2016/09/us-allies-volunteer-to-share-blame-for-deir-ezzor-attack.html

[Posted at the SpookyWeather blog, September 21st, 2016.]

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