Below is the response of NSS to Centcom's public excuse for killing more soldiers of the legitimately elected government of Syria at at-Tanf (al-Tanf) yesterday, as shown here: http://www.centcom.mil/MEDIA/PRESS-RELEASES/Press-Release-View/Article/1204884/coalition-statement-on-actions-near-at-tanf-syria/
The pro-Syrian coalition has issued a warning that they will strike back if this happens again, We have never been closer to WW III!
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Centcom statement (nss staff's comments in italics):
SOUTHWEST ASIA — The Coalition destroyed additional pro-Syrian regime forces that advanced inside the well-established de-confliction zone in southern Syria, June 6.
No, there is no such thing as a de-confliction zone but there is a de-escalation zone well established among the signatories. But if you read the agreement between the 3 signatory countries (Turkey, Iran and Russia), you will see that:
1--It does not specifically call for a US role as the US refused to be part of the group that established the agreement text.
Could you explain how you came to play such an important role when you were not invited by the legitimately elected government of Syria and you did not agree to be bound by the stipulations of the agreement?
2—The agreement does call for a cessation of the conflict but only between
“the government of the Syrian Arab Republic and the armed opposition groups that have joined and will join the ceasefire regime”.
The most recent reports say that about 7,000 of the opposition fighters have laid down their arms but there seem to be no reports of any group that has actually signed. Unless some have signed on in the meantime, there are no terror groups enjoying protection under the agreement. A report in an Arabic language news site said that your last hit near Tanf was at the request of the Revolutionary Commandos, a rebranding of the New Syrian Army, which was discredited when it became known that it had been beheading people. That is a kind of common sense red line crossing. Assuming you are now collaborating with this terrorist group, could you explain why to the US taxpayers who are footing the bill for attacks on Syrian troops instead of on ISIS?
2—The deconfliction zone agreement does in fact provide the following:
"take all necessary measures to continue the fight against DAESH/ISIL, Nusra Front and all other individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated with Al-Qaeda or DAESH/ISIL as designated by the UN Security Council within and outside the de-escalation areas;”
Can you explain how killing off the soldiers who have been fighting ISIS for years and are therefore well trained and skilled in confronting this group could possibly fall under the heading of “taking all necessary measures to continue the fight against DAESH/ISL, Nusra Front”… etc?
Despite previous warnings, pro-regime forces entered the agreed-upon de-confliction zone with a tank, artillery, anti-aircraft weapons, armed technical vehicles and more than 60 soldiers posing a threat to Coalition and partner forces based at the At Tanf Garrison.
Please explain how these soldiers who have a long history of successfully combating ISIS and no history whatsoever of fighting US forces pose a threat to your military, which the US public is led to believe is engaged in fighting terror, not dealing death to our partners in the fight?
The Coalition issued several warnings via the de-confliction line prior to destroying two artillery pieces, an anti-aircraft weapon, and damaging a tank.
Does the issuing of warnings justify this attack? If I stepped out of my car with a shotgun at a traffic light where you were stopped and warned you that you need to pull off the road or I would shoot you and plug your car full of holes, would I then be justified in carrying out my warning? What do you think the judge would say about this?
On May 18, the Coalition conducted a strike against pro-Syrian regime forces that had advanced a significant distance into the de-confliction zone threatening the Coalition forces at At Tanf.
Again, unless they told you they were going to attack you, then how was this a threat – particularly since the Syrian troops were on their own soil and the soldiers accompanying them were invited by the elected government of the Syrian people while you were not invited?
Coalition forces have been operating in the At Tanf area for many months, training and advising vetted Syrian partner forces engaged in the fight against ISIS.
A report issued in an Arab language news site indicates that this area was occupied earlier by Syrian troops, also presumably for much longer than the US presence. Now if I had hunted “for many months” on a woods in farmland you owned, would that entitle me to issue a warning to you, the owner, to stay away from me and my workers by claiming you were a threat to us? But since you claim you were there to fight ISIS, why did you not join forces with the Syrians and their allies instead of killing them and destroying their equipment?
The Coalition does not seek to fight Syrian regime or pro-regime forces but remains ready to defend themselves if pro-regime forces refuse to vacate the de-confliction zone. The Coalition calls on all parties in southern Syria to focus their efforts on the defeat of ISIS, which is our common enemy and the greatest threat to regional and worldwide peace and security.
The agreement does not require anti-ISIS fighters to refrain from bearing arms in the deconfliction zones. On the contrary, as shown above, it encourages them to use arms to fight ISIS. Nor does it confer any special rights to any party to ban the presence of other anti-ISIS fighters from areas they occupy.
Again, how are you, the uninvited party, entitled to set rules affecting the people who own the land and the people they invited to join them? If there were a rogue bear in my woods and you came there claiming to want to kill the bear, would you be entitled to shoot me as part of the action to keep everyone safe?
"hostilities between the conflicting parties (the government of the Syrian Arab Republic and the armed opposition groups that have joined and will join the ceasefire regime) with the use of any kinds of weapons, including aerial assets, shall be ceased;
"The Guarantors shall:
"take all necessary measures to ensure the fulfillment by the conflicting parties of the ceasefire regime;
"take all necessary measures to continue the fight against DAESH/ISIL, Nusra Front and all other individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated with Al-Qaeda or DAESH/ISIL as designated by the UN Security Council within and outside the de-escalation areas;
"continue efforts to include in the ceasefire regime armed opposition groups that have not yet joined the ceasefire regime.”
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