Pentagon Threatens to Down Russian and Syrian Planes
Par Stephen Lendman, 23 août 2016

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Syrian land and airspace are sovereign state territory. No foreign power may deny its military or other aircraft from operating anywhere within its borders – or Russian planes and ground personnel invited by its government.

America and its rogue partners operate illegally in Syria. On the phony pretext of combating ISIS, they’re waging war on its government, terror-bombing selected targets, using terrorists called “moderate rebels” as imperial foot soldiers on the ground.

After a near confrontation between Syrian and US aircraft last week in territory where American special forces operate on the ground aiding terrorist fighters, Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook outrageously said “(w)e would advise the Syrian regime to steer clear of those areas.”

In other words, don’t attack US-supported death squads killing Syrian civilian and military personnel.

“We are going to defend our people on the ground, and do what we need to defend them,” Cook stressed. Claiming an illegally imposed US de facto no-fly zone isn’t one, Cook added “the Syrian regime would be wise to avoid areas where coalition forces have been operating.”

He threatened Russia, saying “(i)f they threaten US forces, we always have the right to defend” them.”

Last Friday, Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis said two Syrian Su-24 warplanes attacked Kurdish forces training with US Special Operations troops. They left the area before US aircraft intercepted them.

In response, a Syrian Army General Command statement said Kurdish forces were “attacking state institutions, stealing oil and cotton, obstructing exams, kidnapping unarmed civilians and spreading chaos and instability.”

Last Saturday, commander of US forces in Syria and Iraq General Stephen Townsend threatened Russia and Syria, saying “we will defend ourselves if we feel threatened.”

During a Monday Security Council session, Syrian UN envoy Bashar al-Jaafari blasted nations claiming to be “friends of the Syrian people” while supporting terrorist elements massacring them.

He criticized UN General-Secretariat reports, willfully falsifying facts on the humanitarian situation. He denounced characterizing foreign-supported terrorists as “armed opposition” elements.

He stressed conflict won’t end until terrorism is defeated, its backers ceasing to support it. His government granted no permission for the US-led “international alliance” to operate in Syrian territory – in its airspace or on the ground.

He explained US warplanes destroyed a power plant supplying Aleppo with electricity. So-called “friends of the Syrian people” are its worst enemies.

Instead of combating terrorism, they support it. Millions of suffering Syrians attest to their barbarity.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected] 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled « Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III. »

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