Syraq SITREP 38: Syrian Air Defenses Reportedly Fire on American Warplanes

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Video posted above by Twitter user 'Ali Syed' could not be independently confirmed. However, Al Masdar News, which has sources on the ground in Damascus picked up the story, while pointing out that neither official Syrian government nor Coalition spokesmen had commented. Al-Masdar describes Al-Salihiyah as "a frontline town that separates the Syrian Army and Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in northern Deir Ezzor."

The U.S. trigger happy tendencies whenever its 'partner forces are threatened' not only resulted in the widely reported deaths of 'Wagner' mercenaries, but also scores of local pro-Damascus Arab tribesmen. It is possible that the Syrian high command did not green light an act of local revenge taking, whereby Arab fighters may have targeted Kurdish units in the vicinity of American special forces in retaliation for the killing of their relatives in the U.S. air strike of Feb. 7-8.

Putin Announces Daily Bombing Pause for Humanitarian Relief and Evacuation, While SAA's Elite Tiger Forces Start East Ghouta Offensive in Urban Terrain

The timing of the latest U.S. air strike on Syrian government forces comes days after United Nations Security Council (UNSC) members led by the U.S. called for an immediate ceasefire in the 'moderate rebel' and jihadist held pocket of East Ghouta near Damascus. After the failure of an international humanitarian and G-NGO outcry to stop the combined Syrian-Iranian-Russian offensive that expelled the jihadists from Aleppo, the same formula is being repeated in Ghouta -- amidst very real civilian suffering. Scores of civilians were killed and possibly hundreds wounded by Syrian government and alleged Russian Air Force strikes inside the besieged area in the last week, even as the jihadists fired rockets outward indiscriminately at citizens of Damascus. The Russian Defense Ministry complained about the jihadi rocket fire which American diplomacy ignores. Moscow also warned that the militants may be planning some sort of staged chemical attack in order to blame it on pro-Assad forces. Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu announced a daily five hour pause in bombing of East Ghouta to facilitate humanitarian aid entering the area through Syrian government checkpoints and to allow civilians to flee.

As Elijah J. Magnier reports (not quoting due to a glitch in the Wordpress software's blockquote feature), Ghouta and the oil and gas rich Deir Ez Zor region are flash points in the Second Cold War. According to Magnier Washington wants to steal oil resources from the Damascus government, limiting its postwar reconstruction and foreign direct investment (read: from the Chinese, Russians and Iranians) potential while creating a permanent basing location for U.S. forces, especially with the failure of the plan to carve out an independent Iraqi Kurdistan or Syrian Kurdish statelet opposed by Turkey in 'Rojava'. Any lucrative concessions struck between U.S. oil companies and 'local Kurdish factions' backed by Washington would be a bonus from this Euphrates Valley occupying strategy promoted by neocons like Hassan Hassan and Michael D. Weiss as soon as Daesh's final defeat became evident in late 2016.

Moscow and Tehran however, won't back down and the risks that Magnier has previously noted of U.S. forces facing Iraq insurgency-type tactics such as IEDs or ambushes grow with each American attack on Syrian forces with apparent impunity. For many months if not years to come, the Russians have to contend with Turkish and American occupations of sovereign Syrian territory while consolidating Damascus gains through the elimination of the Ghouta jihadist pocket and eventual solution to the terrorists occupation of Idlib province under Turkey's neo-Ottoman auspices.