After Ukraine, military tensions between the United States and Russia have escalated dangerously in Syria as well. Just a few days ago, a Russian Su-27 fighter jet collided with an American MQ-9 drone over the Black Sea. And now Washington is accusing Russian pilots stationed in Syria, on fighter jets laden with bombs, of repeatedly flying into American bases. There are areas in the Arab country that are not under the control of the Damascus government, and they have intensified in recent weeks. “They fly over our bases with armed fighter planes with the intent of provocation,” General Michael Korella, commander of the US military in the Middle East, said two days ago during a Senate hearing. He believed that the Russian Air Force’s modus operandi would be “unprofessional” and violate agreements reached to avoid accidents. In response to a senator’s question, Corella reported a “significant uptick” in overflights as of March 1.
Already after the drone crashWashington stated through Commander-in-Chief Mark Milley that the way the Russians fly and operate will be “part of a scheme” and “aggressive behavior” toward US aircraft and allies in other parts of the world. Last week, another American commander in the Middle East, Alexus Grynkewich, told reporters that Russian planes fly in pairs: the Su-24 bomber or Su-34 accompanied by the Su-35 fighter. “We’re intercepting them and making sure they don’t endanger our ground forces,” Grynkewich said, adding that the Russians “fly into the airspace that, according to de-escalation protocols, should be where we operate.” Not the Russians. They also reported from the US Central Command in the Middle East, the US Central Command, that the Russians will spy with drones on military camps that host a thousand American soldiers deployed to support the Syrian Democratic Forces, which are mostly Kurdish combat units that control areas in Iraq. Northeast Syria. Forces that General Mark Milley himself visited in recent days – amid protests by the Syrian authorities – suggesting that Washington would retain and reinforce them.
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Drones and planes, keep calm
The United States is angry at the gradual international normalizationEspecially on the Arab side, relations with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad – after the isolation in which he continued for ten years – which were accelerated by the earthquake that destroyed Syria and Turkey, as well as by the reconciliation agreement reached in Beijing on Iran. and Saudi Arabia. The concern arose two days ago, on the anniversary of the war in Syria, in a statement issued by the United States, France, Germany and the United Kingdom, in which the four countries confirmed that they would not normalize relations with Damascus until there was someone to describe it. As “real and lasting progress towards a political solution to the conflict,” in simple terms the removal of Assad from power.
But the Syrian president does not intend to leave the scene, now that it has strengthened its position. It even puts limits on the diplomatic plans of the Russian allies. During his visit to Moscow two days ago, Assad said he was ready to meet with Recep Tayyip Erdogan only if the Turkish leader withdraws his forces from Syria. “The meeting with Erdogan will be possible when Turkey clearly and without hesitation announces its readiness for a complete withdrawal (of its military forces) from Syrian territory. the Syrian president asked, referring to Turkey’s support for armed groups opposing the Syrian government. He asked, “What is the point of organizing the meeting if it does not lead to an end to the conflict in Syria?” Assad confirmed emphatically. Words that diminished the enthusiasm of Vladimir Putin, who is eager to bring Syria and Turkey to reconciliation as Chinese leader Xi Jinping has been able to do with Tehran and Riyadh. As a result, no date or venue has been announced for a possible meeting of the foreign ministers of Syria and Turkey, which is the first since the outbreak of war in Syria in 2011.
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