War in the shadow of the fight against “Islamic state”

The official justification of the American military presence on the territory of Syria — the struggle against international extremist threat posed by the “Islamic state” (banned in Russia — approx. ed.). However, what is happening in reality forces us to conclude that in fact under this pretext is the struggle to achieve old goals — the overthrow of Bashar al-Assad and the dismemberment of a sovereign state.

Sunday 18 June, the coalition forces are in the fight against “Islamic state” in Iraq and Syria led by the United States, has shot down a Syrian su-22. It has not happened again the incident when us forces opened fire on legitimate Syrian military forces. Speech, in particular, about the missile strike on the air base Shirt and bombing, “Pro-government militias” in the “security zone”, which was declared unilaterally, and which recognizes neither Damascus nor Moscow. The incident with the downed aircraft has finally confirmed that the main purpose of the United States, their allies and wards in this region is not in the fight against “Islamic state”. This incident is the result of competition for control of as much of Eastern Syria between Syrian forces, aided by Russia, on the one hand, and the so-called “Democratic forces of Syria” backed by the USA on the other.

So, to occupy more territory, the US unilaterally declared “security zone” near the city of al-TANF, a strategically important border crossing between Syria and Iraq. The Americans planned to expand this zone to the North to the Euphrates, so as almost completely to occupy the Syrian South-East and cut off Damascus from Iraq. But Syrian forces prevented this plan, failing to break into the territory controlled by “Islamic state” and reach the border with Iraq, thereby they virtually cut off the “security zone”. Before US stood a choice: either action, sit in the middle of the desert, which for manoeuvre of Syrian forces lost the strategic value or to leave to Jordan. The Americans found creative output. It was decided to “push” forces of the “Islamic state” and other terrorists to break through that corridor, which paved the Syrian Arab army in Iraq, as American forces, there is no justification to do it yourself. Lately there were many reports that Pro-American forces, mostly Kurds, allow Islamist extremists to leave surrounded by Raqqa, so they moved to Deir-ez-Zor and broke through the mentioned corridor. Still it failed due to fierce resistance from Syrian forces and their Russian partners. In these battles participated and shot down a Syrian su-22.

Preventive self-defence

Given the actions of the Americans and their partners (mostly Kurds) on the battlefield, it is clear that they aim to split Syria in the interests of the Kurdish population in the North and East of the country. To isolate Damascus, which is already impossible to win, and the mode to change, from Europe, from the North and its allies (Iraq and Iran) from the East. The national wealth of Syria, especially oil, will be transferred under the control of “friendly entity”. Despite the genuine goal, Washington continued to assert that “the mission of the coalition forces is to destroy the “Islamic state” in Syria and Iraq,” and that “coalition forces do not want a confrontation with the forces of the Syrian regime and Russia”. The US also state that “would not hesitate to stand up for coalition partners”.

The USA claim that the Syrian plane was shot down “in the framework of collective self-defense of coalition forces.” Similar to the us, the explanation is very controversial, and potentially dangerous even for Washington. The UN Charter recognizes the right to collective self-defence, but the concept is applicable to the protection of another state, not to protect “non-state actor” such as “the Democratic forces of Syria.” There is also the possibility of the legitimate defense of the us armed forces as a government institution, but in this case the American forces were not in danger, and the “Democratic forces of Syria” should not be considered a public body of the United States or any other country. The trick for US here is that if Washington recognizes the de facto force their units, under the control and command of the United States, then the responsibility for all actions of these forces will be imposed on the United States. In essence, this would mean that all war crimes committed by these forces, would be automatically blamed on Washington.

In a statement about the downed Syrian aircraft Washington “calls on all parties to focus their efforts on the fight against “Islamic state”, which is a common enemy and biggest threat to peace in the region and in the world.” But the problem is that is quite obvious: the destruction of the “Islamic state” is not the only mission of the coalition. U.S. Secretary of state Rex Tillerson and the U.S. permanent representative to the UN Nikki Haley said that regime change remains a strategic goal for their country. The American presence in al-Tape and deploy the most advanced American missile-artillery system HIMARS (and from this region it can not hit targets on the territory of the “Islamic state”) confirmed that the US has other motives. In the end, even if we ignore the fact that the US is in Syria are illegal and protect the separatist rebels from the legitimate government forces, to explain why the United States never defended “the Democratic forces of Syria” from the Turkish troops? Although they attacked with surprising regularity.

The conflict with Russia

What “vague” nor would the American motives for such actions, they led to the present conflict with Russia that could escalate into war. After the incident with the downed Syrian plane from Moscow first made clear that he regarded the incident as a clear violation of international law, reprehensible, and a blatant aggression. That was followed by concrete action, Moscow has warned that any flying object of the coalition forces in the sky to the West of the Euphrates would be considered a target for possible attack. “In areas of combat missions of Russian aircraft in the skies of Syria West of the Euphrates river any airborne targets, including aircraft and unmanned vehicles international coalition will be accepted for maintenance as aerial targets,” — said the Russian defense Ministry. Today it is the most serious threat, more a warning Moscow to Washington since the conflict began in Syria. Russia also accused the United States in violation of the Memorandum on the prevention of incidents in the skies of Syria because USA does not warned about the impact on the Syrian plane, and therefore ceased cooperation under this agreement. You need to keep in mind that such serious warnings Russia has not made even when in November 2015 Turkey shot down a Russian plane over Syria. While Russia has not declared the Turkish aircraft likely air targets.

Despite the harsh statements, it is unlikely that Russia allowed without a good reason to shoot down American aircraft in the skies over Syria. Moscow’s actions have proven that, above all, is very practical and realistic. The decision to shoot down an American plane not be called pragmatic. But the question is, when such a step may be the pragmatic choice. There is a serious risk that due to the termination of interaction to “deescalate” the situation (this has resulted in the rejection of the Memorandum) increases the threat of accidental collision between the Russian and coalition aircraft. The worry is that Moscow considered: in the circumstances, it is more profitable to take the risk of accidental conflict than to cooperate with the United States. This indicates a high degree of distrust of the state, which is supposed to be a “partner” in the fight against “Islamic state”.

The Philippine scenario

So, the fight against “Islamic state” was rather the pretext than the real reason of the presence in Syria. This is confirmed by the development of the situation in the Philippines. A month ago the President of this country Rodrigo Duterte told Washington that he considers Donald trump a “friend,” but its foreign policy would focus on Russia and China. Before and after this statement Duterte repeatedly demanded from the us military, residing in the territory of his state, to come and go. “I have nothing against America. Trump is my friend, but my foreign policy is changing. I want to cooperate with China and Russia, because the West is fickle,” said Duterte. Anyone who even slightly followed international politics in the last 20-30 years knows that such good end can not. Duterte is also understood. He may not remember Milosevic, but certainly not forgotten Saddam Hussein and Gaddafi. Not to mention Assad, an example of which is the Philippines leader in front of the eyes. It is for models that have been applied in the case of Assad, is preparing to revenge Duterte.

Plan against him began to be implemented on may 23, when none other than the Islamic state invaded in Marawi, a city with a predominantly Muslim population on the southern island of Mindanao. Duterte responded with a Declaration of martial law and his usual uncompromising, not to say brutal military and police actions. For us it is very important the fact that on the island of Mindanao is more than a hundred American Marines and a significant number of special forces soldiers and reconnaissance aircraft P-3 “Orion”. They are designed for aerial and electronic espionage. Then how is it possible that the jihadi group has managed absolutely imperceptibly, including Americans, to break into the city and capture it?

Same as in Syria, at the same time with the “Islamic state appeared the Americans with the intention to protect his friend Duterte and his people from the evil terrorists, and at the same time to overthrow the President. The American Embassy in Manila confirmed that in Marawi are American soldiers fighting terrorists. And Duterte claims that he never asked any help from the Americans. As Assad. “I never spoke to one American and not asked to help,” said Duterte at a press conference, speaking to journalists. Even more interesting is that the terrorists stormed in Marawi just at the time when the Philippine President visited Moscow and met President Putin.

The war that the US is waging in the shadows of the fight against “Islamic state” is becoming more noticeable. Even those who were insufficiently published diplomatic cables in which in 2012 it was about the benefits of the ISIS, is now finally clear. “Islamic state” is an excuse, not a reason for American intervention, which is aimed at achieving American interests. In the case of Syria, U.S. goal — the overthrow of Assad and the disintegration of the country, and in the case of the Philippines — eliminating Duterte and who knows what else. We’ll see.

When Iran shows the teeth

Last week, without regard to the us-kurdo-Syrian-Russian confrontation over Raqqa, Deir-ez-Zor and al-TANF, Iran showed strength. He struck a ballistic medium-range missiles on the positions of the “Islamic state” near Deir ez-Zor. This missile attack from a distance of about 600 miles became an act of revenge for the attack in Tehran on the seventh of June. The message that is contained in that shot, much more important than revenge. All launched missiles hit their targets, in contrast to the American debacle during the attack on the air base in Chirata, when only 36 of the 59 rockets hit the target. Thus, the Iranian revolutionary guard demonstrated their ability to destroy enemy targets at a considerable distance. This is a clear warning to the Wahhabi monarchies of the Gulf, and American forces in the region, and Israel in case of need no one will take from Iranian retaliation.