A U.S. F/A-18E Super Hornet shot down a Syrian government Su-22 on June 18, after the Syrian plane allegedly dropped bombs near members of the U.S.-allied Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
A news release posted on the website of Operation Inherent Resolve on June 19 stated that on the previous day, “Pro-Syrian regime forces attacked the Syrian Democratic Forces-held town of Ja’Din, South of Tabqah, wounding a number of SDF fighters and driving the SDF from the town.”
In response, noted the release, “Coalition aircraft conducted a show of force and stopped the initial pro-regime advance toward the SDF-controlled town.”
Operation Inherent Resolve is the U.S. military’s operational name for what has been officially described as an intervention against ISIS.
The Inherent Resolve release said: “Following the Pro-Syrian forces attack, the Coalition contacted its Russian counterparts by telephone via an established ‘de-confliction line’ to de-escalate the situation and stop the firing.”
However, the Russian Defense Ministry disputed the coalition claim that the air-safety hotline had been used and noted that there were Russian aircraft in the area when the Syrian plane was shot down.
The Syrian pilot is believed to have ejected from the aircraft, according to a U.S. official.
According to a Pentagon statement cited by AP, the U.S. military acted in “collective self defense” of its partner forces and that the United States did not seek a fight with the Syrian government or its Russian supporters.
“The coalition’s mission is to defeat ISIS in Iraq and Syria,” the Pentagon said, “The coalition does not seek to fight Syrian regime, Russian or pro-regime forces partnered with them, but will not hesitate to defend coalition or partner forces from any threat.”
The June 19, the Russian Defense Ministry condemned the U.S. action, stating, “Multiple military actions of U.S. aviation under the guise of fighting terrorism against the legal military of a state that is a member of the United Nations are a flagrant violation of international law and constitute de facto military aggression against the Syrian Arab Republic.... We view these actions by the American command as a conscious failure to uphold their responsibilities within the memorandum.”
According to the U.K. Independent,
Russia has said it will treat US warplanes operating in parts of Syria where its air forces are also present as “targets” amid a diplomatic row caused by the downing of a Syrian jet. The country’s defence ministry said it would track US-led coalition aircraft with missile systems and military aircraft, but stopped short of saying it would shoot them down. A hotline set up between Russia and the US to prevent mid-air collisions will also be suspended. “All kinds of airborne vehicles, including aircraft and UAVs of the international coalition detected to the west of the Euphrates River will be tracked by the Russian SAM [surface-to-air-missile] systems as air targets,” the Russian Defence Ministry said in a statement.
Does the Russian assertion that U.S. aviation has engaged in military actions against Syria “under the guise of fighting terrorism” have any merit, or is it mere propaganda? To answer that question, we must step back and look at the history of the U.S. role in backing “coalition” partners in the supposed battle against ISIS. While some of these forces may be fighting ISIS, other rebel groups fighting to topple Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad have cooperated with ISIS or al-Qaeda.
In an October 2014 article, we provided a wealth of information about how U.S. support of the supposed “anti-ISIS” coalition actually helped to build ISIS into the threat it is today, noting some very revealing remarks made by former Vice President Joe Biden at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. Biden, perhaps without thinking through the consequences, revealed the truth about Obama’s “anti-ISIS” coalition and its crucial role in building up al-Qaeda, its affiliates, and ultimately, the same “Islamic State” now reportedly on the outskirts of Baghdad, waiting to overrun it. “The fact is, the ability to identify a moderate middle in Syria, um, was, uh — there was no moderate middle,” Biden said. “What my constant cry was, that our biggest problem was our allies — our allies in the region were our largest problem.” Specifically identifying the Islamist rulers of Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia, along with unspecified others such as Qatar, Biden noted that “they were so determined to take down Assad and essentially have a proxy Sunni-Shia war.”
So, with that in mind, “what did [these nations] do?” the vice president asked before providing a partial answer. “They poured hundreds of millions of dollars and tens, thousands of tons of weapons into anyone who would fight against Assad; except that the people who were being supplied were Al Nusra and Al Qaeda and the extremist elements of jihadis coming from other parts of the world.”
Biden neglected to mention the role of the CIA and the U.S. State Department in the process, a role that has been well documented by countless sources.
In a May 2015 article, we observed:
A newly released intelligence report from the Pentagon shows that the U.S. government knew that supporting jihadists in the fight against Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad would produce a fundamentalist Islamic State in Eastern Syria — and that Obama’s supposed “anti-ISIS” coalition knowingly backed ISIS and other Islamic terrorists for precisely that purpose.
The heavily redacted Defense Department report, obtained by watchdog Judicial Watch via a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, shows once again that, contrary to the false narrative peddled by the establishment press, the rise of the savage terror group known as ISIS was actually deliberate policy.
The DIA document was widely circulated throughout the U.S. government — the State Department, Central Command, the Department of Homeland Security, the CIA, the FBI, and other agencies would have all seen it, according to media reports. That means its contents, and therefore, the engineered rise of the Islamic State (ISIS) to “isolate” Assad, would not have been a surprise to U.S. officials. In other words, in addition to supporting the most violent and barbaric jihadists on the planet while ostensibly waging a liberty-crushing “terror war,” top-level government officials have been lying to the American people and the world. It is time for the perpetrators to be held accountable.
If these statements from the DIA document are true (and there is every reason to believe that they are) then the statement released by the Pentagon after this shoot-down of the Syrian jet are highly suspect.
That statement again was: “The coalition’s mission is to defeat ISIS in Iraq and Syria. The coalition does not seek to fight Syrian regime, Russian or pro-regime forces partnered with them, but will not hesitate to defend coalition or partner forces from any threat.”
The history of U.S. support for the anti-Assad rebels in Syria since such actions were taken under Obama indicate that the Russian Defense Ministry’s assertion that the United States has engaged in military actions against Syria “under the guise of fighting terrorism” my not tell half the story. Our “war against ISIS" in Syria may be much more that a “guise” to bring down Assad, who is nothing more than an inconvenient obstacle to accomplishing the real objective, which is to establish a fundamentalist Islamic State in Eastern Syria.
In an April article posted by The New American, “After Trump’s Syria Attack, What Comes Next?” former congressman Ron Paul asked and answered a key question: “Who benefits from the US attack on Syria? ISIS, which immediately after the attack began a ground offensive. Does President Trump really want the US to act as ISIS’s air force?”
What better target for an ISIS air force might there be than a Syrian government plane?
Paul discussed the shooting down of the Syrian plane with his co-host, Daniel McAdams, for the online Liberty Report. The conversation is well worth viewing.
Photo: F/A-18E "Super Hornets"