Sophie Mangal |
US Air Forces Central Command, Russian/Syrian aircraft crossed a de-confliction line into coalition airspace east of the Euphrates River 6-8 times a day in late November. “The greatest concern is that we could shoot down these aircraft because their actions are seen as a threat” sources said to the coalition forces.
In turn, Assad’s allies announced that most of the rapprochement between Russian/Syrian and U.S.-led coalition aircraft in the vicinity of the Euphrates River valley in Syria was associated with the attempts of the U.S. aircraft to interfere with the destruction of ISIS terrorists.
To be mentioned is that while the Syrian AF accompanied by the Russian side were eliminating an ISIS stronghold in the suburbs of the city of al-Mayadin during the Deir-Ezzor campaign, a U.S. F-22 aircraft was carrying out ‘flare ejection altitude’ (were releasing several decoy flares) and speed brake deployment maneuvers in airspace and simulating an air fight.
Syrians are concerned that there is no reason and excuse for that. Moreover, nobody from Western countries calls for the destruction of Israeli aircraft
It seems a fight in the skies of Deir Ezzor is here to stay and the Memorandum on Flight Safety in Syria won’t help to pacify the U.S’s naked ambitions and ruthless determination to dominate the skies over Syria. In the meantime, the legal basis for ‘coalition’ presence in Syria can’t be demonstrated.
According to international law, there is no U.S. led coalition airspace in Syria. Apparently, the Pentagon had considered that there would be no point in following the international law regarding Syria’s airspace because the U.S. would be unable to benefit by its jets.
CNN statements have already raised a storm of indignation of common Syrians. Many of them try to ask what are these “coalition forces” really doing in Syria and call them “USA invasion forces.” Some people draw parallels between the U.S. and Israeli AF planes as well as their missiles regularly infringing sovereign Syrian airspace.
“The greatest concern is that we could shoot down these aircraft because their actions are seen as a threat” sources said to the coalition forces.
Syrians are concerned that there is no reason and excuse for that. Moreover, nobody from Western countries calls for the destruction of Israeli aircraft. A number of residents, according to an opinion poll made by Inside Syria Media Center via social media, even joked “Russia was too busy killing all those terrorists that the U.S. allowed to leave from Raqqa, that is why Russian/Syrian aircraft hadn’t notice U.S. F-22 aircraft.”
Recent events in the skies over Deir Ezzor should lead the international community to reflect further on that issue.
Russia is legally invited in a sovereign country and operates within the framework of the international law. On the contrary, the U.S. army stays in Syria without a decision made by the U.S. Congress, which is the only authority that has the power to declare war, and without any mandate from the UN.
Sophie Mangal is a freelance writer and a member of the Inside Syria Media Center. After attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as a media and journalism major, Mangal monitored the refugee crisis in Europe, drawing parallels between the Syrian conflict and the Balkan problem, and has visited Syria on several occasions. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Global Village Space’s editorial policy.