Wednesday, 5 October 2016

As Syrian Forces Make Gains in Aleppo, the US Intends to Escalate


Events in northern Syria have taken a dramatic turn in recent days, beginning with an unprecedented US airstrike on Syrian army positions in Deir ez-Zor. US officials have said they were aiming for ISIS targets but struck Syrian army positions accidentally, killing 62 soldiers and exposing the remaining survivors to an Islamic State offensive.

In the days prior, the New York Times reported on a public disagreement between Secretary of State John Kerry and Defense Secretary Ashton Carter over the terms of the proposed ceasefire being negotiated with Russia.

Carter was said to have ‘deep reservations’ over plans for American and Russian forces to share information and jointly target terrorist organisations as made conditional in the ceasefire proposal. Defense Department officials publically refused to affirm whether they would implement the agreement.

The subsequent attacks on a UN relief convoy saw US officials strongly imply responsibility on Moscow. Reuters and others carried claims by anonymous US officials identifying Russia as the perpetrator, while mention of the recent US strike in Deir ez-Zor was omitted from most dispatches.

Read the full story on New Eastern Outlook

Nile Bowie is a Singapore-based political commentator and columnist for the Malaysian Reserve newspaper. He can be reached at nilebowie@gmail.com.