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True U.S. Goal In Syria Is Control Over Resources, Not Fighting Isis—Russian Ministry Of Defense

By | Last updated: Feb 15, 2018 - 3:27:32 PM

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The U.S.-led coalition’s attack on pro-government forces in Syria has again proven that Washington’s true goal is to capture “economic assets” instead of fighting terrorism, the Russian Defense Ministry said.

The MoD was referring to an incident which took place Feb. 6 in Deir Ez-Zor province, as a Syrian militia unit was moving against a “sleeper cell” of Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS). The operation was prompted by a surge in shelling of the positions of Syrian government forces in the area over the past few days, attributed to the covert activities of IS terrorists, the ministry said in a Feb. 8 statement.

A unit of the pro-government militia was conducting a reconnaissance search mission on Feb. 7 near the former oil processing plant of Al-Isba. While there, “the militiamen came under a surprise mortar and MRLS shelling, and were attacked by helicopters of the U.S.-led ‘international coalition.’ ”

As a result, 25 members of the pro-government unit were injured.Initial media reports, citing unnamed U.S. officials, suggested that some 100 Syrian soldiers had died in the assault by the coalition forces.

The U.S. Central Command earlier called the attack on Syrian militiamen “self-defense,” claiming that the troops allegedly launched an “unprovoked attack against well-established Syrian Democratic Forces [SDF] headquarters.”

The U.S. version of events, however, raises “lots of questions,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.

Following the incident, the Russian military talked to the coalition through the established communication channels, with the latter stating that Al-Isba was under the control of SDF and U.S. troops. The immediate cause of the incident, according to Russia’s Defense Ministry, was the fact that the militia unit acted on its own, without consulting Russian advisers first.

The case exposes a greater problem, however, as according to the MoD the attack by the coalition “once again proved that the true goal of the continuous illegal presence of U.S. forces in Syria is already not the fight against ISIS international terrorist group, but the capture and control of the economic assets belonging solely to the Syrian Arab Republic.”


Damascus has decried the attack as a “war crime” and a “crime against humanity,” SANA reports, citing a letter to the UN issued by the Foreign Ministry. The U.S.-led coalition is illegal and should be disbanded altogether, the ministry stressed.

“We demand [the international community] condemn this massacre and hold the coalition responsible for it,” the ministry said, adding that this is not the first time the U.S.-led coalition has targeted Syrian government forces.

The Syrian government has repeatedly condemned the U.S.-led coalition’s presence on its soil, calling it an act of blatant aggression and violation of the country’s sovereignty.

Damascus has also urged the UN to press the U.S. to leave, especially following the successful defeat of the main IS forces. The U.S., however, has stated that it may remain in Syria indefinitely to counter what it describes as Iranian influence and to secure “post-Assad leadership” for the country.

Recent developments indicate that the U.S. might be effectively shifting towards partitioning Syria altogether, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov warned earlier Feb. 7.

“It’s very likely that the Americans have taken a course of dividing the country. They just gave up their assurances, given to us, that the only goal of their presence in Syria— without an invitation of the legitimate government—was to defeat Islamic State and the terrorists,” Mr. Lavrov stated.

“Now, they are saying that they will keep their presence until they make sure a steady process of a political settlement in Syria starts, which will result in regime change.” (