Nina Ilyina, Alexei Nikolsky
Vedomosti, September 19, 2016, p. 2
Four airplanes of the coalition headed by the US delivered a strike on positions of Syrian army in the area of Deir ez-Zor as a result of which 62 Syrian servicemen died, about 100 people were wounded and there appeared a threat of offensive of militants of ISIS (prohibited in Russia) at this surrounded city. The strikes were stopped after Russian military who received information about this attack contacted the American ones.
A MISTAKEN STRIKE OF AMERICAN COALITION IN SYRIA ON TROOPS OF BASHAR ASSAD UNDERMINES THE FRAGILE TRUST BETWEEN RUSSIA AND THE US
On Friday, representative of the Defense Ministry announced that four airplanes of the coalition headed by the US delivered a strike on positions of Syrian army in the area of Deir ez-Zor as a result of which 62 Syrian servicemen died, about 100 people were wounded and there appeared a threat of offensive of militants of ISIS (prohibited in Russia) at this surrounded city. The strikes were stopped after Russian military who received information about this attack contacted the American ones. Pentagon confirmed later that aviation of the coalition delivered strikes on ISIS in this area and one of them could be delivered on Syrian army by mistake. Deir ez-Zor has been surrendered by ISIS for more than two years already and there were no “moderate” groups near the city, an officer of the Defense Ministry said.
General Sergei Rudskoy, head of the Main Operational Directorate of the General Staff, announced, “This incident with big human losses was possible due to lack of knowledge of the situation by the American party and unwillingness of the American party to coordinate its actions with Russia.” On Sunday, representative of Russia in the UN Security Council Vitaly Churkin announced that according to the Russian-American agreement signed in Geneva a meeting of the Russian-American group had to take place on September 19 at which the parties could exchange information about location of forces on the ground. Nonetheless, Churkin announced that he did not consider the Geneva agreement dead. Russia called on the US to investigate into the aviation strikes of the coalition on Syrian military more accurately and “to take measures to exclude such incidents henceforth reliably.” On Saturday, US permanent representative to the UN Samantha Power announced after calling of an extraordinary meeting of the UN Security Council, “It is high time for Russia to stop this cheap calculation of scores and to focus on what is really important, namely implementation of our agreements.”
Vladimir Yevseev, deputy director of the Institute of the CIS countries, was convinced that it was impossible to make a mistake during delivery of strikes on the airport of Deir ez-Zor, “The airport of Deir ez-Zor is not simply some military object but a base of the Air Force, it is very difficult to confuse it with something, this is the only channel for communication with external life and the only bridgehead of the Syrian military. In condition of a truce this strike is extremely sensitive and could result in changing of the frontline and this is not a simple negligence.” The expert presumes that the incident will undermine the trust between the parties that has already been hardly noticeable even more, “It is impossible to revive 60 people by apologies and a growing incongruence is see in in actions of Pentagon and the Department of Defense in the course of approach of Barack Obama to his logical completion that has not been earlier.”