Destroyed neighborhood in Raqqa.
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The "build back better" government with Joe Biden at the helm waited 40 days after inauguration to violate international law in Syria. On the 25 February, Biden launched missiles at the border between Syria and Iraq close to Al Bukamal under the pretext of retaliation for prior attacks on a US military occupation base well inside Iraq that allegedly killed one US contractor and injured five others.
According to John Kirby, Pentagon spokesperson---
The flimsy pretext for unlawful aggression against a sovereign nation disintegrates, however, when one understands that the attack on the US base in Iraq is around 500km from the area targeted by Biden, inside Syria.
Peter Ford, former UK Ambassador to Syria (2003-2006), told me that the attack demonstrated Biden's caving in to pressure from the Washington neoconservatives. Ford told me:
Any truly strong leader would have ignored the Irbil incident and prevented recurrence by giving Iran an incentive not to take more chances by getting back to the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) negotiating table without delay. He would also have pressed on with the draw-down of US forces in Iraq, which are not actually assets but vulnerable liabilities - as shown by the Irbil attacks.
Ford went on to explain that---
Iranian hardliners will draw the conclusion that Biden cannot be trusted not to crumble before domestic pressure and it is therefore not worth abandoning Iran's nuclear cards.
In other words, the attack on Syria has made it more difficult for Biden to renew the Obama deal he has claimed to support. An early failure by Biden to stick to his declared policies only plays into the hands of the Washington war hawks whose eye is on the removal of Iran and Iranian influence from the region which only serves Israeli interests in the long run.
According to Syrian journalist, Kevork Almassian, Biden deliberately bombed the border crossing at Al Bukamal because it is a primary trade route for Iraq and Syria, largely under the protection of the Syrian Arab Army and the Iraqi Popular Mobilisation Unit/Forces (PMU), renowned for defeating ISIS in Iraq and Syria. The message being sent to Damascus is that the US will double-down on multi-spectrum pressure to achieve the compromises that will satisfy their need for victory against President Assad, effectively the surrender of the Syrian government as already described by Peter Ford "Joe Biden's new policy on Syria is a poisoned chalice"
It is worth noting also that the US gave Russia a five-minute warning before the attack which was a provocation in itself. Russian military is present in the north-east of Syria and is in control of the air-space unofficially but was given no time to react by the US.
Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, said:
Our military was warned 4 or 5 minutes in advance. Of course, even if we talk about de-conflict, as is customary in relations between Russian and American servicemen, this does not give anything.
Lavrov responded with a forceful condemnation of the attacks and of the illegal presence of US Coalition forces on Syrian territory both in the oil-rich north-east and the military base at Al Tanf close to the border with Jordan.
Al Tanf has a 55km exclusion zone surrounding it where the US regularly conduct military exercises with illegal armed groups (including ISIS), proxies that are deployed to target Syrian and Russian military positions and convoys.
Lavrov called out the US for the occupation of Syrian territory, the plundering of Syrian oil and support for extremist militias, in---
Pentagon claims of 17 victims of the aggression are denied by local sources. According to Seyed Mohammed Marandi, Iranian academic and regional analyst, only one PMU fighter, Seyed Rahi al-Sharifi, was killed in the attack, while fighting ISIS on the border with Syria, hundreds of kilometers from the US occupation base.
The irony should be pointed out that the US claims to be in Syria to fight ISIS.
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