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Rebellion in the sky over Syria

This article was originally published at Quemado Institute

The U.S. says this is one of several violations by the Russian side of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation and the Department of Defense of the United States of America on the Prevention of Flight Safety Incidents in the course of operations in the Syrian Arab Republic, signed in October 2015. At that time, the Pentagon was obliged to increase its cooperation with the Russian side.

The Journal also states that Russian pilots over Syria don’t know the agreed safety rules or do not want to follow them. US Air Force commanders express fears that an incident could add tension to the relationship between Moscow and Washington in the efforts to settle the Syrian conflict.

The irony is that the Russian Air Force operates in full compliance with international law—at the request of the official government of the Syrian Arab Republic. But US jets do not have any legal authority to fly in the skies over Syria and therefore have no legal basis for their actions nor any moral authority to make groundless accusations against Russia. The activities of the US-led international coalition do not have the approval of the UN Security Council, and neither have Syrian authorities addressed the Western countries with an official request to support their action against ISIS.

It should be recalled that the US-led coalition has repeatedly been criticized by both the international community and NATO for its ‘mistakes’ during air strikes in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. Some servicemen from Western countries have even staged protests and organized demonstrations to protest their respective countries’ military interventions.

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A recent case in point is a Danish military serviceman serving in the NATO contingent deployed in Afghanistan. He organized a protest near the Danish Parliament on January 10, voicing concern over the real terrorism he witnessed while on duty. He held a cardboard sign in his hand reading, “They ordered us to Afghanistan to fight against terrorism. We were tricked! It was only for the sake of the war. NATO is terrorism! Please forgive us for what happened, Afghans!”

Earlier, a number of photographs appeared in social networks showing American soldiers with protest posters expressing their displeasure with the military campaign against Bashar al-Assad . Their faces are disguised in order to protect them from persecution. They argue that supporting the anti-government forces in Syria is a betrayal of the Syrian people, as by doing so the U.S. provide direct support to Al-Qaeda in Syria.

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