Syria Daily: US Attacks Assad Forces for 1st Time…By Accident

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UPDATE 1930 GMT: Activists report that regime warplanes have bombed Aleppo city for the first time since last Monday’s ceasefire, hitting several opposition districts.

Photographs and videos of casualties, some of them children, have been posted.

aleppo-victim-18-09-16

Claimed photographs of aftermath of attack on Kamal al-Jabal district:

aleppo-bombed-18-09-16

The White Helmets civil defense organization are also reporting 10 people killed in barrel-bombing of Dael in Daraa Province in southern Syria:

A video of treatment of the wounded, with graphic images, has been posted.

And footage has been posted from a school damaged by strikes on Ghanto in Homs Province:

Activists also report ground attacks by pro-Assad forces on the front southwest of Aleppo, trying to move farther into the 1070 housing complex, and the Jobar district in Damascus. They said rebels repelled both assaults.


UPDATE 0900 GMT: Australia’s Defense Department has confirmed that its aircraft were involved in the US-led airstrike that killed the Assad regime’s troops:

Australian aircraft were among a number of international aircraft taking part in this Coalition operation.

Australia would never intentionally target a known Syrian military unit or actively support Daesh [Islamic State]. Defence offers its condolences to the families of any Syrian personnel killed or wounded in this incident.

The statement did not indicate if the aircraft were in a strike or support role.

Russia said that the attack was carried out by F-16 jet fighters, assisted by A-10 aircraft. Australia has neither F-16s or A-10s.


ORIGINAL ENTRY: For the first time in Syria’s 5 1/2-year conflict, the US has attacked President Assad’s forces, accidentally killing 62 troops in airstrikes in the east of the country.

Two F-16 jet fighters, accompanied by A-10 support aircraft, carried out four attacks on the al-Tharda mountain near Deir ez-Zor airport. The area is on the frontline of fighting between the Syrian military and the Islamic State, who have battled for control of Deir ez-Zor city and the province since 2014.

US Central Command said the attack lasted about 20 minutes as the F-16s destroyed vehicles and gunned down troops. It was aborted when Russia, in an urgent call to the US command center in Qatar that oversees operations in Syria and Iraq, said the targets might be regime forces and equipment rather than ISIS.

The call was from a Russian official who said that the American planes were bombing Syrian troops and that the strike should immediately be called off. The Centcom official said the attack was halted within minutes, but not until dozens had been killed.

The command claimed that US aircraft have operated in the area before, and that they had informed Russian personnel of the planned attack.

The statement insisted, “Coalition forces would not intentionally strike a known Syrian military unit.”

Washington immediately tried to limit the political damage of the first — unintended — military confrontation with the Assad regime. A “senior administration official” said the US had relayed its regrets to the Assad regime, through the Russians, for the “unintentional loss of life of Syrian forces” fighting the Islamic State.

Another official said “condolence payments” will be made to families of regime troops killed by the airstrikes.

Russia: Attack Shows US Backs ISIS

The American story pointed to consultation over the operation, two days before a joint US-Russian intelligence-sharing center is to begin. However, the Russian military gave a far different version, claiming that they were given no information by the Americans.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova went as far as to accuse the US of supporting the Islamic State, despite last week’s US-Russian agreement for a Syrian ceasefire and military cooperation:

We are reaching a really terrifying conclusion for the whole world: That the White House is defending Islamic State. Now there can be no doubts about that.

Citing its Syrian counterpart, The Russian Defense Ministry said 62 regime troops were killed and more than 100 wounded. Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov challenged, “If the airstrike was caused by the wrong coordinates of targets, then it’s a direct consequence of the stubborn unwillingness of the American side to coordinate with Russia in its actions against terrorist groups in Syria.”

The Syrian General Command said the bombing was a “serious and blatant aggression” and “conclusive evidence” that the US and its allies back ISIS. It claimed the airstrikes briefly allowed “a wide terrorist offensive” by the Islamic State to seize a regime position on the mountain.

Russia Convenes Security Council Meeting

But Russia pressed ahead with its criticism, calling an emergency session of the UN Security Council to discuss the incident.

Speaking to reporters, US Ambassador Samantha Power chided:

In the face of none of these [Assad regime] atrocities has Russia expressed outrage, nor has it demanded investigations, nor has it ever called for…an emergency meeting of the Security Council” on a Saturday night or any other night….

Russia really needs to stop the cheap point scoring and the grandstanding and the stunts and focus on what matters, which is implementation of something we negotiated in good faith with them.

But Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, who left the room as Power entered, indicated that the US-Russian agreement — with the shaky ceasefires that began last Monday — could be affected:

It is quite significant, and frankly suspicious, that the United States chose to conduct this particular airstrike at this time. I would suggest it is not accidental that it happened just two days before the Russia-American arrangement [for intelligence-sharing] was supposed to come into force.

This is a very big question mark.

I would be very interested to see how Washington is going to react. If what Ambassador Power has done today is any indication of their possible reaction then we are in serious trouble.


JFS/Nusra Head Joulani Interviewed by Al Jazeera

The head of the jihadists of Jabhat Fatah al-Sham, formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, has given his first televised interview since the group reshaped itself in late July.

Abu Mohammad al-Joulani’s discussion with Al Jazeera Arabic was broadcast Saturday night.

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Amid talk of a merger between JFS and rebel factions, Joulani said that there were “advanced” unity negotiations but that differences remain between some groups.

At the same time, Joulani emphasized JFS — which formally renounced allegiance to Al Qa’eda when it renamed itself — as a “Syrian” group pursuing legitimacy, emphasizing institutions for governance which are separate from military operations.

See also Syria Podcast: The “Rebooted” Jabhat al-Nusra, Al Qa’eda, and the Syrian Rebellion
Global Analysis: The Damaging Illusion of Al Qa’eda

Speaking about the US-Russian deal for ceasefires and military cooperation, Joulani said the two powers were aiming for the Syrian opposition’s surrender. He accused the UN of pursuing a methodical policy for the defeat of Aleppo, Syria’s largest city, by the Assad regime.

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37 COMMENTS

  1. Unfortunately,our news is claiming Australian jets were involved in this hit on Syrian government troops.Questions are starting to be asked on who is supplying us with target information,and whether those sources can be trusted.Our airforce look like idiots at the moment.

  2. Fuck em about time these shitbags got bombed
    Funny how when russia hit fsa targets fighting isis they didnt apologise one bit

      • We are civilized people.We don’t just waltz around the world illegally bombing countries forces and think its ok because anonymous people on blogs enjoy watching everybody die,while claiming to be internet freedom fighters.Will pay the compo thanks.Will be hidden somewhere in next budget.

        • Compensation to assad’s soldiers is a fcking joke. This has nothing to do with the “mistaken” target. Instead of bitching about values and morale…why dont you cry about Russia and Iran to start to pay compensations for the 100k or more civilians killed? Double standards? I wouldent pay a damn cent to assad soldiers. And if i were a Us or aussie tax payer i would be furious.

          • @Caligola
            Because i am not a Russian or Iranian.I did not say USA should pay compensation either.That is their business.I can only speak about what we can do,for what we have done,which was wrong,and the easiest way is compo.Easy to fix.That is not double standards.

    • Why should Russia apologies for hitting FSA targets when FSA refuse to distance themselves from Al Qaeda/JAN or whatever the Al Qaeda fighters decide to cal themselves?

      I could never understand out why the FSA should be treated with kidd gloves. They want to overthrow Assad, therefore Assad and his allies have every right to bomb them.

      • Because russias pretext for being there is fighting isis , if they are going instead to focus on the opposition why shouldnt the u.s open up the weapons floodgates,set the southern front loose and bomb assad every time they block aid or gas somewhere

        If russia is going to whine about a genuine mistake like this then why cant the u.s do the same every time the ruaf hit a hospital or their puppet assad denies aid entry.

        Wtf will they be like when hilary come in ? She sure as fuck wont be paying compensation to dead rats if she orders a strike or begging for cooperation from russia.

        • The Russians nev r said there were only fighting ISIS but all terror groups. Groups that attack the state are deemed terrorists which would include the FSA.

          There seems no to be some perverse notion that because the West supports these groups, that they should be free to attack Assad without consequence

      • The problem is that 3/4 of those airstrikes intentionally hit civilian infrastructures like markets or hospitals. Very few hit rebel Hq’s or weapon storages. Civilians most of the times are hitted in order to hope to bend their support towards the rebels. Its called collective punishment.

        • The US doesn’t give a crap about civilians being targeted or collective punishment Caligola. Just think back to Fallujah in 2005 or Israel’s attacks on Gaza, or for that matter, Saudi Arabia’s bombing of Yemen.

    • “@magpie an anonymous Australian” says :”anonymous people on blogs enjoy watching everybody die,while claiming to be internet freedom fighters”
      well?! am not enjoying “everybody die” only some……..
      —————————————————————————————–
      -Russia good policy in Syria and Ukraine?!
      -Syrian regime(+ Iranians,Lebanese,Iraqi,Afghans),fighting Israel and imperialist conspiracies against the poor Assad?
      -US (with Obama) the champion of justice during the latest 5 years in Syria ? The “inventor” of multiple COH that stink?Including the last one not made public and give air support to Assad?
      Sorry ,Australia used as a pawn for Assad! (by Obama)
      -UN ,blocked by self interest,unable to “work” its own proposals?
      ——————————————–
      There are 450.000 civilians killed and probably 250.000 fighters and soldiers killed by the conflict.
      And yes,I consider ISIS as a second or third priority after the regime and Syrian Kurds wish of secession . Because of this:
      @TheIraqWitness Top Hezbollah Nujaba commander :”After the liberation of Mosul we come to Syria”
      Thus,I support Turkey fighting ISIS;because the end of campaign will make 3.000-10.000 free fighters against Assad and I don’t support US helping Assad ,because those regime soldiers will return against opposition. So, it is an order of “priorities” or like a chess game (don’t move a bishop before you defend your field with pawns )
      REGIME LOST A PLANE (Su22 in Deir Zohr) :again ,one regime plane lost against ISIS = good news to civilians in Syria.

      • @coco
        Well seeing i’m being corrected in 3rd world gobblygook,it must be true.So its kill the regime,kill the kurds,keep ISIS till after,Shiite bad,obama bad?With a new death toll of 700 k,and a reference to chess to make it seem like an educated analysis.What country you live in that ISIS is regarded so highly compared to kurds etc?Saudi?

        • @magpie ,from Morocco!
          ISIS wants to return civilization to XVI century! It is an impossible utopia or simple BS. To understand what I mean,I give you 2 examples(not very smart examples but it is what I think on hot)
          1.Westerners dream sometimes about returning to natural roots and society,living in wilderness in a forest or on an island. Evading from civilization.Touching the Robinson Crusoe myth,to fight for their lives and master the nature and survive. Of course they would not apply the rules from an older book against “possible” “cannibals”. But they would consider a strong law and order; and if there are not modern weapons, I think that the capital punishment may be possible(probably hanging,not beheading but quite similar because of taking a human live). I lived once on a mountain for 2 weeks with a girl,with no phone signal,fishing and washing rudimentary but using a lighter for fire,a modern tent and meat cans. Fortunately I was not attacked by predatory animals or humans. But I had my axe and hunting knife prepared for worse.And my childish dreams of night.
          2.Returning to Middle Age era,imagine yourself catch by inquisition with your mobile phone or after you successfully cured a child with antibiotics. What was your punishment? Because of using “a demon tool=the phone?” or practicing “sorcery with your pills”. Burned on a pike? Yes, 100%.
          —————–So ,try to see IS how it is: a dystopia ; and it was the only possible end game for it. And we know that utopias are not possible; but for dysfunctional minds of uncivilized people it is so. More than that ,the full world at individual level is too civilized to admit savagery . But attention!!,. we, the anonymous bloggers ,different individuals and not the United Nation…. you see?!

  3. Whistleblower exposes how NATO’s leading ally is arming and funding ISIS
    https://medium.com/insurge-intelligence/former-turkish-counter-terror-chief-exposes-governments-support-for-isis-d12238698f52#.3so0ppz4r 9/16/2016

    Rawand @CawSor
    https://twitter.com/CawSor/status/629226216457764864 8/6/2015
    #PKK’s Kalkan: “It was Turkish intelligence agents within ISIS who recently attacked Turkish soldiers [in southern Kilis province].” #TwitterKurds anfenglish.com/kurdistan/kalk…
    http://www.anfenglish.com/kurdistan/kalkan-pkk-has-not-attacked-yet-and-its-retaliations-are-limited

    Rojavagrupperna @rojavagrupperna
    https://twitter.com/rojavagrupperna/status/777410240535035904 9/18/2016
    Turkish intelligence agency (MIT) continues to assassinate turkmen leaders in the SDF. #Rojava #Kurd #SDF…
    http://www.voanews.com/a/syria-turkmen-commanders-killed/3513531.html

  4. Seems the Chelsea,New Jersey,Minnesota terror attacks are getting a lot more traffic on US twitter compared to the airstrike mishap.

  5. I.Coalition bombed Assad “by accident”(&the most effective strike against armed forces in Syria in 5y)
    My question is :
    How many similar raids needed the coalition to use against Assad to :
    -stop killing 450.000?
    -to stop an external emigrant flux of 5 millions?
    -stop using chemical weapons including chlorine?
    -to stop using barrel bombs?
    -to stop importing shiite foreign fighters from Asia and M.E.?
    -TO ENTER IN A REAL PEACE DEAL AT Geneva,Brussels,Vienna, U.N. ?
    -TO END THE CONFLICT BEFORE THE CALIPHATE IN RAQQA?
    ————————————–
    My guess is …maximum 10 strikes. Under 1000 Assad “soldiers” for a peace.
    For a Syrian State without Assad;without towns partially destroyed;without different international terrorists coming for jihad or to defend imaginative “shrines” ?!

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