Initially sold as an initiative to combat terrorism, certain nations have collaborated in various military activities within the sovereign borders of Syria, including the United States, Israel, Turkey, Russia, and others. But even with the defeat of terrorist ISIL forces in Syria this past year, many of these nations are continuing their military activities in the region.
Making headlines recently have been Turkey’s assault on the Kurdish YPG forces in Afrin, US airstrikes against reigning Syrian president Bashar al-Assad’s forces, and Israel’s airstrikes on Syrian targets, and the alleged destruction of a drone that is said to have belonged to Iran.
This Israeli “retaliation” wherein Israeli Defense Forces attacked Syrian Air Defense Forces, in Syrian territory, is being peddled as a defensive maneuver, which comes with the default full support of the Pentagon:
On February 9, Major Adrian Rankine-Galloway officially announced that the US supports the Israeli attack that targeted twelve positions of the Syrian Air Defense Forces and the Iranian forces in Syria. The Pentagon spokesman told reporters that the US fully supports “Israel’s right to defend itself”, according to Reuters.
“Israel is our closest security partner in the region and we fully support Israel’s inherent right to defend itself against threats to its territory and its people,” Maj. Rankine-Galloway said, according to Reuters.
Maj Rankine-Galloway also noted that the US Department of Defense did not participate in the Israeli military operation in Syria and warned from Iran’s “destabilizing activities” in the Middle East.
“We share the concerns of many throughout the , that Iran’s destabilizing activities that threaten international peace and security, and we seek greater international resolve in countering Iran’s malign activities,” said Rankine-Galloway.
Earlier, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert also stressed the US support for the attack on Syria that resulted in the shot down of an Israeli Air Force (IAF) F-16 warplane, and the damaging of another warplane, an F-15.
“The United States is deeply concerned about today’s escalation of violence over Israel’s border and strongly supports Israel’s sovereign right to defend itself,” Nauert said, according to Reuters.
U.S. State Department seems to indicate here that Israel’s “sovereign right to defend itself” extends to essentially anywhere and to anything Netanyahu’s regime extends its interests. Meanwhile, Syria’s sovereign right to defend its own territory and people appears to be something that deserves “retaliation”, and an “escalation”.
Lebonese ally Hezbollah, issued a statement regarding the downing of an Israeli warplane by the Syrian Defense Forces that considered this action both a Syrian defensive maneuver, but also the beginning of a “new strategic phase” concerning Israeli incursions into Syrian airspace. The official said:
“We condemn the enemy’s [Israel’s] blatant support of terrorism and radical groups and its interference in the Syrian crisis by aggression and threats, we confirm that today’s developments mean the old equations have categorically ended,” Hezbollah said in its official statement.
Russian officials also released a statement on the matter, calling for an end to the hostilities, and for parties to exercise restraint. In addition, the Russian Foreign Ministry also exercised caution surrounding Russian forces in the region at the invitation of the Syrian government:
“We urge all parties involved to exercise restraint and to avoid any actions that could lead to an even greater complication of the situation. We consider it necessary to unconditionally respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria and other countries of the region. It is absolutely unacceptable to create threats to the lives and security of Russian servicemen who are in Syria at the invitation of its legitimate government to assist in the fight against terrorists,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said, according to the Washington Post.