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US airstrikes on Syrian troops were ‘intentional,’ lasted nearly 1 hour – Assad to AP

Syrian President Bashar Assad says that US airstrikes which killed 62 Syrian government troops were “intentional” and they lasted for an hour. He added that the US “does not have the will” to join Russia in fighting terrorists in Syria. Article contains video interview of Bashar al-Assad on this matter. (Article first published on RT on 22 Sep, 2016 11:18 at https://www.rt.com/news/360248-assad-ap-intentional-us-airstrikes/.)

Speaking to the Associated Press in Damascus, the Syrian leader denied that the airstrikes carried out by the US near Deir ez-Zor on September 17 were an accident. Sixty-two Syrian soldiers were killed and over 100 were injured, according to the Syrian military. Assad said they were “intentionally” targeted.

It was not an accident by one airplane; it was four airplanes which kept attacking the position of the Syrian troops for nearly one hour or maybe a little bit more than one hour,” Assad told AP, adding they were attacking a large area that “constituted of many hills” adjacent to where the Syrian troops were stationed.

Assad also questioned how IS was able to launch an attack so quickly after the airstrike.

The IS troops attacked at the very same time as the American strike. How could they know that America was going to attack that position in order to gather their militants right away and attack it one hour after the strike. It was definitely intentional and not unintentional,” he added.

The Pentagon said the airstrikes on Syrian troops were an accident and that they were aimed at Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) terrorists.

Assad also claimed that the US is not interested in fighting terrorists in Syria, saying that Washington “lacks the will” to join Russia in trying to eliminate extremist groups.

“When you have many external factors that you don't control, it's going to drag on and no one in this world can tell you when,” he answered a question about when the war might end.

He also said that the conflict is likely to drag on because the US, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar keep supporting those opposed to Assad’s rule.

The Syrian president dismissed US claims that Russian or Syrian planes were responsible for a fatal attack on an aid convoy which killed 21 people September 19. He said the American accusations have “no credibility” and they are “just lies.

“I would say whatever the American officials said about the conflict in Syria has no credibility. Whatever they say is just lies.”

When pressed about what happened to the aid convoys, Assad said they were passing through rebel-held areas and these “terrorists” were responsible for their security. 

“We don’t have any idea about what happened. The only thing we saw was videos of burnt-out, destroyed trucks and nothing else,” Assad said.

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Comments

The following is my response to a discussion on Professor John Quiggin's Monday Message Board of 19 Sep 2016 :

Paul walter wrote on September 20th, 2016 at 10:55 :

Deir Al Zor and bombing of Syrian army troops.

Was it just an accident..bad enough. Or is something more sinister involved involving the US, ourselves and ISIS?

...

In March 2011, after several dozens of police and soldiers, armed only with batons, were killed by supposedly unarmed protestors, the Syrian government rightly feared that, unless they acted decisively against the insurrection, Syria would soon endure what Iraq endured between 1990 and 2009 as a result of two criminal wars and the illegal sanctions in which Australia participated. Many hundreds of thousands of Iraqis died in that time including 500,000 children.

Just as Australia almost endured a foreign invasion in 1942, Syria has been faced with a foreign invasion in the last five and a half years.

In Syria, the situation is much more serious than anything faced by Australia in the Second World War: tens of thousands of takfiri terrorists, armed and paid for by the US, its European allies, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, etc., have entered Syria through Turkey, Lebanon, Israel, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. As a result of that invasion, around 400,000 Syrians have died, including 80,000 soldiers. Compare just the 80,000 military dead alone to the 27,073 Australians who died in the Second World War or the 60,000 Australians who died in the First World War.

Even if we were to accept the 'explanation' for Deir Ezzor (paul spells it 'Deir Al Zor') - that they thought they were attacking Islamic State (IS) and not the Syrian Army - given by the United States, and their Australian, British and Danish accomplices for the Deir Ezzor bombardment, the attack was still a violation of Syrian national sovereignty.

However, as Syrian President Bashar al-Assad explained on 22 September in an interview with RT, the attacks, which lasted for one hour and which were immediately followed by a ground attack on the besieged Syrian Army defenders by IS fighters, were intentional: "How could they know that America was going to attack that position in order to gather their militants right away and attack it one hour after the strike?" he asked.

Clearly Australia and the US, contrary to their supposed abhorrence of IS, is supporting that very same IS against the Syrian government. The cover story for now siding with IS against the Syrian government, previously stated by some mainstream media 'reporters' is that for all its brutality, the "Assad regime" is even more brutal than IS.

According to reports which have yet to be confirmed or denied, immediately after the Deir Ezzor attack, Russia responded by taking out, with a ship-launched Caliber rocket, 30 Israeli, Turkish, Saudi and Qatari officers in an intelligence post illegally located inside Syria outside Aleppo. If this is true, the United States global bully may have learnt that there is a cost to be paid for such blatent acts of aggression.