It was the first time in a long time that an interview broadcast on Moscow’s government funded channel RT made global headlines. But Russian journalist Murad Gazdiev’s question, “I’m Sunni [Muslim], Mr. President. I have relatives who went to Syria to fight you. To stop you killing Sunnis. The Muslim world is convinced that you are…” took a back seat to Bashir al-Assad’s statement, that this spring Russian forces narrowly avoided direct clashes with the Americans ahead of the April 14 Anglo-American-French strikes, and that U.S. forces must leave sovereign Syrian territory they have illegally occupied in the Levant.
The American response, coming in a statement from the State Department, was that Coalition forces do not seek clashes with Syrian or Iranian-government backed units in the country, but would use necessary and proportionate force to defend themselves and their Kurdish partners. Yet as the deaths of several Russian and scores of Syrian soldiers in clashes with Islamic State terrorists recently showed, Daesh remains dangerous across the so-called badiya or Syrian desert stretching to the Iraqi border, where U.S. forces have conspicuously failed to finish ISIS remnants off. Pro-Damascus protests against the American presence and low level insurgency against the ‘Syrian Democratic Forces’ (SDF) Kurds’ occupation of historically Arab lands in and around Raqqa have also been admitted this week by The Washington Post.Read More