Up to 80 Syrian government soldiers fighting ISIS have been killed in devastating airstrikes carried out by the United States-led coalition forces in the country.
On September 5, 2014, the United States government announced its leading of a coalition force made up of its Western and Arab allies. Their intentions were to conduct airstrikes against ISIS in Syria and Iraq, to prevent the terrorist group from taking over more territories. However, since the United States commenced its so-called air campaign in the region, against ISIS, it has come under serious question and suspicion.
Since the so-called Syrian uprising began against Bashar al-Assad, the United States government consistently denounced Assad, saying he should relinquish his power for a political transition – eventually giving Syria to the rebels who are fighting the government. To make the situation worse, many of the rebel factions opposing the Syrian government may have direct links to ISIS, along with other known terrorist organizations.
Despite the questions surrounding the rebels, the United States is supplying them with heavy military weapons – as well as sharing military intelligence – using ISIS as a pretext to pursue a secret regime-change agenda in Syria.
Last year, Russia intervened in the conflict to flash out the terrorists, aiding Syrian government forces to drive the terrorists out of key cities. In western, central and eastern Syria, many towns and cities have been freed from ISIS control, due to the effective fighting forces of the Russians.
According to accounts, 80 Syrian government soldiers died as a result of this latest strike – while they were in the al-Tharda Mountains on September 17, on the outskirts of the city of Deir ez-Zor, eastern Syria, fighting ISIS terrorists. Deir ez-Zor is close to the central area where ISIS has declared its so-called caliphate. The area’s proximity to ISIS’ stronghold has allowed the terrorist group to maintain control of areas across the Iraqi-Syrian border.
The Syrian state television reported that these soldiers were on the frontlines fighting ISIS, when fighter jets from the United States-led coalition dropped bombs on them. Apart from the 80 soldiers who lost their lives, many vehicles and military hardware were also destroyed, handicapping the Syrian government forces in their fight against ISIS.
The Russian Defense Ministry confirmed that the aircraft carrying out the bombings had entered Syrian airspace via Iraq. Russian officials revealed how the jets carried out four strikes, and that the operation was executed by two F-16 jet fighters and two A-10 support aircraft.
According to Russian officials, when the bombs were dropped, they immediately contacted the United States, demanding to know why the Syrian government forces were attacked.
The United States Central Command (which is in charge of the coalition campaign), later issued a statement admitting that its airstrikes did hit the Syrian government forces who were fighting ISIS.
The statement said:
“Coalition forces believed they were striking a Da’esh fighting position that they had been tracking for a significant amount of time before the strike. The coalition airstrike was halted immediately when coalition forces were informed by Russian officials that it was possible the personnel and vehicles targeted were part of the Syrian military.”
When Central Command issued the statement, Russian government officials expressed outrage, vowing to drag the United States before the United Nations Security Council. Russia has since called for an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council, demanding the incident be addressed.
The Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, told Rossiya 24 in an interview that the strike is a confirmation that the United States is supporting ISIS.
“If previously we had suspicions that Al-Nusra Front is protected this way, now, after the airstrikes on the Syrian army we come to a really terrifying conclusion for the entire world: The White House is defending ISIS. We demand a full and detailed explanation from Washington. That explanation must be given at the UN Security Council,” she said.
From what is gathered, when Syrian television broke the news of a coalition airstrike hitting its government forces, ISIS fighters and sympathizers jubilated on social media. They thanked the United States for fighting for them, labeling the Syrian government as a monster.
Currently, there is a brief ‘ceasefire’ between the warring factions in the conflict; to allow relief items to reach the devastated areas of the war-torn nation’s civilians. Many of these civilians have been trapped, as a result of the constant fighting; hunger and health related issues are threatening the survival of the innocent populations who are bearing the brunt of a war they have nothing to do with.
More than half of the country’s 22 million people have been forced out of their homes. Media estimates the death toll, since the war began in 2011, can be put at 280,000. However, recently the United Nations special envoy to Syria, Staffan de Mistura, estimated that the actual death toll could be as high as 400,000.