Father's Day in the U.S. marked two escalations in the Syria war, with the Americans shooting down a Syrian Air Force jet they claimed bombed Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces Sunday evening, while Iran fired at least two medium-range ballistic missiles from its territory at ISIS in eastern Syria. The Iranian missile strike was the first launch of a ballistic rocket in combat by Tehran since the 1980s Iran-Iraq War, and the Persian rockets transited Iraqi air space en route to their targets.
U.S. Escalation in Syria: When Strategy Fails, Just Focus on Tactics of Shooting, Asking Questions Later
The latest aggressive U.S. move against Syrian government forces fighting ISIS came after the failure of American forces and their 'moderate rebel' proxies to prevent the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) from linking up with friendly Iraqi PMU forces at the Syraqi border earlier this month. The link-up happened north of the U.S. outposts established without the legitimate Syrian government's permission at Al-Tanf and further to the northeast, at al-Zakaf.
ISIS Collapse in Central Syrian Deserts is Putting Pressure on U.S. to Use its Kurdish SDF Proxies as Blocking Force Against Further SAA Advances to Liberate Deir Ez Zor from a 3-Year-Old Daesh Siege
With the battle of Mosul finally won, the PMU have vowed to liberate the last Daesh toeholds on their side of the border before taking the fight to the ISIS enemy inside Syria. This means that the greatest problem the SAA has had in holding ground against Daesh, an acute manpower shortage, is being eased at the very moment that ISIS terrorist army is collapsing on all fronts. In short, the globalists' gambit of using ISIS to justify a de facto partition of Syria is failing, which is why the Syrian government claimed the U.S. shot down its fighter bomber Sunday as it was striking ISIS near SDF lines. The Coalition disputes Damascus accounts, claiming it warned the Syrian plane not to bomb the area via the U.S.-Russian Syria deconfliction hotline.
The Russian Defense Ministry has yet to comment on the veracity of the American account of Sunday's shoot down -- the Syrian government denies that the SyAF SU22 posed any threat to SDF fighters or U.S. special forces operating alongside them. In an angry statement posted on Facebook, Damascus once again accused the Americans of secretly supporting the ISIS terrorists by attacking Syrian forces fighting Daesh.
For its part, the RuMoD has questioned why the Americans are moving their long range HIMARS surface to surface missile systems into the corner of SE Syria they occupy, since the rocket launcher is far from Raqqa where the SDF Kurds and U.S. special forces are fighting ISIS. The Russian MoD statement that their air strike in May could have killed ISIS leader Abu-Bakir al-Baghdadi was greeted with skepticism if not derision by much of the U.S./UK media last week. In fairness to the media, Baghdadi has been pronounced dead from air strikes numerous times, and some even doubt whether he exists or is a composite character played by body doubles, much like the late Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein employed.
North American English: An ISIS (USUS) Moment Recorded by Kurdish Forces Fighting Daesh in Raqqa
There is however, one peculiarity that emerged from the SDF Kurds' American backed offensive against ISIS in Raqqa, which has involved the U.S. using controversial white phosphorous weapons as alleged smokescreens for friendly forces (American human rights groups had previously condemned Russia's use of non-WP incendiary bombs in urban areas). Aside from questions of hypocrisy in the Americans' longstanding criticisms of allegedly indiscriminate Russian bombing while U.S. forces pummel urban areas held by ISIS, Kurdish forces recorded an ISIL propagandist boasting on open radio channels in North American English about SDF losses. Draw your own conclusions as to whether this Dagwood Daesh neighborhood propagandist is just a random American or Canuck recruit to the super terrorist army, or represents something else:
U.S./Israel Appear to Be Losing Some Support from Jordan for Continued Mischief in Southern Syria
The question of why the system could not be fielded from the Jordanian side of the border, is also highly relevant as Damascus announced in the past week the reopening of a border crossing with Jordan in Daraa province -- meaning Washington (and Tel Aviv)'s 'moderate rebel' proxies are being pushed out of more territory reclaimed by the SAA and the pro-government National Defense Forces (NDF) militia. In fact, some units of rebels who formerly enjoyed support from Jordan have switched to the government side, further eroding Israel's efforts including via support for Al-Qaeda to carve out a sphere of influence inside Syria beyond the IDF-held since 1967 Golan Heights that the United Nations says belong to Damascus.
Turkey Poses Another Big Problem for U.S. Plans to Exploit the Kurds As Anti-SAA Proxies in Syria
In addition to U.S. allies like Jordan going wobbly and engaging in not so secret talks with Damascus to end their role in the six-year-old Syrian proxy war, Washington's hawks have another big problem when it comes to using Kurdish rather than Arab rebel proxies against the SAA: the Turks. Turkey invaded northern Syria late last summer, with the tacit but grudging understanding of the Syrian government. The Turks' objective was to prevent the establishment of a contiguous Kurdish statelet stretching from Iraqi Kurdistan almost to the Mediterranean. This would pose a direct threat to Ankara by providing Kurdish PKK fighters with a sanctuary in which to rest, refit and rearm before launching attacks against security forces and Turkey's Army on both sides of the Syrian border.
Since last year, Turkey has avoided direct clashes between its troops and the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), while drawing many mercenaries off the fight with Damascus and into battle with the SDF Kurds. The Turkish Air Force has bombed the SDF several times, but backed off recently after Moscow engaged in talks with the Syrian Kurds. Syrian rebel units worn out by six years of fighting have defected by the thousands to the so-called 'Euphrates Shield' operation, which Turkey declared over at the end of May 2017. To date there is no indication that the Turks are withdrawing troops, who continue to train and work with friendly Syrian rebel forces that are prepared to fight the Kurds on behalf of their paymasters in Ankara.
One complication for the standoff between the Turks and SDF in northern Syria has been the recent severe row between Saudi Arabia and Qatar. The Qataris have quietly cut off funding for ISIS and are likely now funding the so-called moderate rebels allied with its partner Turkey. The Turks sent scores of troops to Doha during the recent standoff with the Sauds and urged Riyadh to back off its threats against the gas-rich peninsula, which bankrolls President Reccep Tayip Erdogan's Muslim Brotherhood backed AKP party. The Saudis announced this month that they are in talks to provide funding for the Syrian Kurds, in a deliberate slap at Erdogan and his patrons in Doha.
The problem the Americans encounter in supporting Kurdish SDF against the Turks is the same difficulty they would have if they started attacking the Iraqi PMU: blowback on the other side of the border. If the PMU get hit by U.S. air strikes, then their colleagues in Iraq will either quit working with the Americans or threaten to take direct revenge on American troops working to mop up ISIS near them in Mosul province. Similarly, in September 2016 pro-Turkish Syrian rebels cursed American troops as infidels when they had a brief, ugly encounter on camera in a northern Syrian town -- which proved to be a major embarrassment for Washington's 'work with the Syrian rebels' neocons.
While Turkish soldiers and jets will not deliberately engage the Americans, who posted their flags next to those of the SDF that Ankara regards as inseparable from the 'PKK terrorists', the Turks do have the option of shutting Incirlik Air Base down for the U.S. led Coalition. Turkey's NATO ally Germany has already announced its Tornado bombers are leaving Incirlik in July.
Certainly the large scale delivery of small arms and anti-tank missiles to the SDF by the Americans from Iraqi Kurdistan is being publicized in the Russian and Iranian media, precisely to stoke tensions between Washington and Ankara. Southfront is reporting that U.S. forces are setting up what they intend to be a quasi-permanent base in al-Taqba town, which was taken by the SDF from ISIS after the successful Taqba Dam operation on the Euphrates. Last week's indictment of multiple Erdogan body guards for their role in beating protesters outside the White House during Erdogan's visit will further exacerbate U.S.-Turkish tensions. Which are also connected, via gas pipelines planned from Persia through Mesopotamia to Anatolia and thence Europe, to the elephant in the room: Russia's energy end game arrangement with its Central Asian ally, Iran. Who not coincidentally, fired two ballistic missiles to avenge the attack on its parliament building claimed by ISIS, just hours after naval exercises in the Persian Gulf with China:
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Rear Admiral Shen Hao, Commander of China Navy Task Force Group 150 said holding the maneuver had already been planned and the successful execution of the program will help develop more friendship, promote interaction and strengthen confidence between the two navies of Iran and China.
He called Iran and China two ancient and civilized countries of Asia with a long history of friendship, adding that by exchanging high ranking delegations in recent years, cooperation between the two navies have entered into a new phase.
The flotilla is the second Chinese warship group to dock in Bandar Abbas since September 2014.
While the Iranian rockets struck ISIS targets in eastern Syria's Deir Ez Zor province, the intended recipients of the message sent by Tehran were in Washington, Riyadh, Amman and Tel Aviv.
The Iranians demonstrated the capability to strike U.S. or its allies bases anywhere in the Mideast, while Hezbollah's Iranian-derived missiles are also capable not only of striking as far south as Israel's Dimona nuclear facility outside Beersheba, but also northeast from Lebanon against U.S. proxy SDF units attacking Hezbollah forces inside Syria. If Russia isn't ready to go to war with the Americans in Syria, so long as its own forces are not struck, the same cannot necessarily be said for Iran and its heavyweight proxy army in Hezbollah. As the Russian Analyst and W the Intelligence Insider have been warning for weeks now, the stage is being set for a major confrontation after the ISIS pretext for an American occupation zone inside Syria is removed.