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The Sun that Never Sets: Why was Mugabe forced to resign?

We take a closer look at the facts behind the Zimbabwe coup, and here’s what we found.

Haneul Na'avi

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Republished with permission from Regional Rapport

“We cling to our own point of view, as though everything depended on it. Yet our opinions have no permanence; like autumn and winter, they gradually pass away.” Chuang Tsu

93-year old former Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) party leader and President Robert Mugabe finally met his maker, at least politically, after a nearly 40-year reign.

After foolishly sacking Vice President Emmanuel Mnangagwa to pass the Mugabe dynasty to his wife, “Gucci” Grace Mugabe, the Zimbabwe National National Army swiftly retaliated in what “seemed like a coup” at his posh Harare residence.

The military elite, many from the defunct Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army (ZANLA) that fought alongside both officials during the Rhodesian Bush War, seized control of the government.

Watching nervously from afar, African Union Commission Chair Moussa Faki Mahamat meeped that the shocking events should be “resolved in a manner that promotes democracy and human rights, as well as the socio-economic development of Zimbabwe.”

Surprisingly, the military did just that. Nobody was injured and Mugabe was forced to resign, and  Mnangagwa was reappointed to office shortly afterwards.

Zimbabwe now has the real possibility of a political restructuring, following imminent purges to remove political deadwood, to clear the way for a rapid industrialisation of the country.

The country can now assume a more moderate position seamless with its Asia-centric Look East” foreign policy, the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Johannesburg Action Plan, the Southern African Development Community (SADC), and African Union’s Agenda 2063 plan.

Theoretical Analyses of the Zimbabwean Coup

Mugabe actions violated his sacred contract with the nation’s military top brass—the backbone of Zimbabwean government—which has guaranteed his longevity until now.

Revisiting Niccolò Machiavelli’s “The Prince” he explains in Chapter XIV that,

[…] it is seen that when princes have thought more of ease than of arms they have lost their states. And the first cause of your losing it is to neglect this art; and what enables you to acquire a state is to be master of the art.

Going further, Machiavelli notes in Chapter XIX that rulers are,

[…] contemptible to be considered fickle, frivolous, effeminate, mean-spirited, irresolute […]

This is precisely what Mugabe’s leadership had become, as he depended too heavily on his military to retain power, whilst neglecting his ‘princely duties’. Conversely, Mnangagwa, known as “the Crocodile” for his formidable military expertise, fully kept the confidence of his armed forces.

In reality, Zimbabwe’s battle is not with ‘imperialists’, but with Mugabe’s own counterproductive policies, international sanctions regimes, massive hyperinflation, health crises, capital and power shortages, and its pariah reputation abroad.

On the surface, the country has longed to eradicate these problems, but has continuously vacillated between Chinese and Western financial support, and its pseudo-socialist foundations have now achieved the same results as the Former Yugoslavia, Brazil and Argentina.

Consequentially, Mugabe’s controversial 2000 ‘land reform’ policy (known as the ‘Third Chimurenga’) aggravated his relationship with Western benefactors.

A SAIIA report offers incredible insights,

[While] Mugabe wanted to ‘free’ Zimbabwe from its traditional Western partners, the country received substantial aid from them in the 1980s, including $417 million from the World Bank, $204 million from the US, and $156 million from the European Economic Community. In the early 2000s, most of Zimbabwe’s trade, investments and loans were with or came from its neighbours and the West.

It continues,

After the US’ promulgation of the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act (ZDERA) in December 2001, Zimbabwe reeled under tightened targeted sanctions, [which] were exacerbated by the prohibition of budgetary assistance by the [IMF] and the World Bank.

Therefore, Mugabe’s post-millennium career of anti-Western twaddling wholly contradict the primary source of his capital wealth prior to 2000.

The ZANU-PF’s Look East policy and 2013-2018 Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (ZIM-ASSET) programme were merely reactions to this painful transition from West to East, as the country capitalised on the 2000 Forum on Chinese-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) to help eliminate the country’s Western debt and restructure its impoverished economy.

Another reason for Mugabe’s economic dithering is that Zimbabwe is strategically positioned amongst two Chinese allies within the SADC portion of the New Silk Road, quite similarly to Turkey as the Eurasian doorway to Europe; both are guilty of using this to their advantage.

The London Telegraph explains,

In the last four years, [China] has provided more than half a billion dollars in direct aid for schools, clinics and transport infrastructure in a bid to stabilise a country that sits at a strategically vital point between [its] two largest investments in Africa – Angola and South Africa.

Certainly, the ZANU-PF’s history of double-dealing is not an isolated case, as it has capitalised on China’s belief in the supremacy of the peasantry over that of the USSR working class (proletariat), especially after losing Soviet backing to the rival ZAPU.

This has always been Mugabe’s original support base—the peasantry and military—as the proletarian base was under Soviet control until being merged into the ZANU party in 1987.

SAIIA continues,

For ZANU, the China–USSR split presented an opportunity to maximise its gains in its struggle against ZAPU. The ZANU–ZAPU split coincided with the Sino–Soviet split, partially explaining why China and the Soviet Union were so invested in this proxy-like war in Zimbabwe.

The ZANU-PF party inherently rejects Marxist-Leninism and embraces Narodism, a movement based on the peasantry and their blind submission to heroic figures—precisely what Mugabe and Mnangagwa represent. The ZANU-PF use their legacy of ‘anti-colonialism’ and ‘heroic struggles’ as a superstructural mechanism to rule Zimbabwe, with very little material successes.

Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin explained in his essay “On Narodnism” that,

The revolution of 1905 finally revealed this social essence of Narodism, this class nature of it. The movement of the masses […] swept aside Narodnik, professedly socialist, phrase mongering like so much dust and revealed the core: a peasant (bourgeois) democratic movement with an immense, still unexhausted store of energy.

He continues,

[…] “popular” socialism is a meaningless phrase serving to evade the question of which class or social stratum is fighting for socialism throughout the world […] Class-conscious workers [must] ruthlessly ridicule would-be socialist phrases and not allow the only serious question, that of consistent democracy, to be hidden behind them.

Zimbabwe, through its land reform programme, focused its revolutionary struggle on race instead of class, developing the ZANU-PF party along ideological lines and not material; the fundamental difference between the ZANU and ZAPU.

Lenin clearly demonstrates the correct path to take in “From Narodism to Marxism”,

With the bourgeois peasantry against the survivals of serfdom, against the autocracy, the priests, and the landlords; with the urban proletariat against the bourgeoisie in general and against the bourgeois peasantry in particular—this is the only correct slogan for the rural proletarian […]

‘Anti-colonial’ parties such as the ZANU-PF (and to an extent, many African political parties) are fundamentally bourgeois at their cores because they have not addressed the question of consistent democracy, which is establishing a proletarian dictatorship to eliminate class strata, in addition to this financial dillydallying with Western and Eastern financial institutions.

The Rise of “The Crocodile”

In order to understand the nature of the November coup d’etat, one must look into the support China has poured into Zimbabwe, why this is significant, and why Mnangagwa was seen as the preferred successor to Mugabe.

Firstly, in 2008, political turmoil between the ruling ZANU-PF and Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) parties erupted after Mugabe won a ‘landslide’ victory that year.

Reuters stated,

The Movement for Democratic Change has refused to recognize Mugabe’s overwhelming victory in a June 27 vote held after MDC candidate Morgan Tsvangirai pulled out, citing violence by ruling party militia […]

Following the chaos, both parties signed the 2008 Inter-party Agreement, brokered by then-South African President Thabo Mbeki and the United Nations, in order to stabilise the country and continue negotiations with China on the SADC and FOCAC.

After doing so, the premise was simple. Either the ZANU-PF party can lead the country’s macroeconomic initiatives, or the MDC will, prompting the party to revive Sino-Zimbabwean relations in 2011, which were previously cooled after Mugabe’s brutal 2008 electoral crackdown.

The London Telegraph continues, citing MDC spokesperson Nelson Chamisa,

It’s not a government-to-government relationship, but a Zanu PF-China relationship […] These relations have consequences considering Zanu PF is a sunset party and the sun shall set on its allies.”

Dr. Martyn Davies, China-Africa relations expert and CEO of Frontier Advisory seconded this,

It’s not in [China’s] interests to do some transaction which in two years or maybe even sooner would have to be restructured if there’s a change in Zimbabwe’s political arrangement […]

To prevent this ‘change’, an important part of Sino-Zimbabwean relations included rebuilding ZANU-PF’s coercive apparatus—the national military. SAIIA reports that since 2003,

The major arms sales include 12 jet fighters and 100 military vehicles valued at $240 million in 2004; six trainer/combat aircraft in 2005; six additional trainer/combat aircraft in 2006; and 20 000 AK-47 rifles, 21 000 pairs of handcuffs and 12–15 military trucks in 2011.

The PRC Embassy to Zimbabwe noted that, shortly after adopting the Look East policy, Sino-Zimbabwean trade skyrocketed, with Harare incurring a massive trade surplus with China.

“The trade volume between the two countries in 2002 was 191 million U.S. dollars. The export of China to Zimbabwe [totalled] 32 million U.S. dollars and import 159 million U.S. dollars,” it stated.

Following the 2003-2006 hyperinflation crisis, China threw the Mugabe administration a lifeline by increasing development projects and investment throughout Zimbabwe to sustain its economy.

Additionally, from 2015-2017, Chinese President Xi Jinping cancelled debts for Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and partially Angola and following the write-offs, Zimbabwe adopted the Chinese Yuan to its basket of currencies.

Zimbabwean Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa expressed that,

They [China] said they are cancelling our debts that are maturing this year and we are in the process of finalizing the debt instruments and calculating the debts […]

Contrary to public opinion, this was not under Mugabe’s orders, but VP Mnangagwa.

An observant Bloomberg article revealed that,

Mnangagwa, who received military training in China during a war for independence decades ago, proposed in 2015 to have the Chinese yuan as legal tender in inflation-prone Zimbabwe.

It continues, citing Shen Xiaolei, Chinese Acadamy of Social Sciences research fellow,

Mnangagwa has a more open and moderate approach in economic policies and is also a friend of China […] Mugabe’s receding power is just a matter of time, and sooner is better than later because it can help stabilize the domestic situation.

Wang Hongyi, research fellow on Sino-Africa ties continues,

[Mugabe’s] policy was too radical and Chinese companies there stood to suffer […] Mnangagwa is seen as a steady hand, and he will limit or even revoke the indigenization law.

In conclusion, the military coup was an existential concern for the ruling ZANU-PF party, and the new Emmanuel Mnangagwa administration plans to correct the mistakes of Mugabe’s dynasty. This will satisfy everyone, from the Chinese, to the Zimbabweans, to the new ZANU-PF party, which will undergo a severe but necessary transformation via purges.

As this transition period comes to pass, one must not forget the ominous words of the Zimbabwean Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA),

[There] is an unwritten understanding that there are no permanent friends or enemies, but permanent interests. Zimbabwe’s Foreign Policy therefore, strives to foster long-standing relationships of mutual co-operation and trust.

Those permanent interests have just been safeguarded. In dialectics, there is no permanence, and prominence is given to that which is developing and rising, not decaying and passing away.

Haneul Na’avi is a regular contributor to The Duran, Global Village Space, and ALLRIOT. His work has been featured in RT News, PressTV, openDemocracy, the Centre for Research on Globalisation, and The Pravda Report. Kindly visit his blog Dialectic Productions for more information.

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Erdogan accepts Syria DMZ off-ramp, in deal with Putin (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 111.

Alex Christoforou

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The deal struck in Sochi averts a large scale Syria’s offensive on Idlib, as Turkey gives it guarantee to monitor what will effectively become a demilitarized zone.

According to the agreement, troops from Russia and Turkey will enforce a new demilitarized zone (DMZ) in Idlib, from which ISIS/Al Qaeda rebels will be required to withdraw by the middle of next month.

Speaking alongside Erdogan, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the 15 to 20 km-wide zone would be established by October 15th. The DMZ would require a complete “withdrawal of all radical fighters” from Idlib, including the rebranded Al-Qaeda affiliated Hay’et Tahrir al-Sham (HTS).

Putin also noted that heavy weapons would be withdrawn from the DMZ by all opposition forces by October 10th, which is a move supported by the Syrian government.

The Russian President described the agreement as a “serious result” further saying that “Russia and Turkey have confirmed their determination to counter terrorism in Syria in all its forms”.

Erdogan said both his country and Russia would carry out coordinated patrols in the demilitarized zone:

“We decided on the establishment of a region that is cleaned of weapons between the areas which are under the control of the opposition and the regime.”

“In return, we will ensure that radical groups, which we will designate together with Russia, won’t be active in the relevant area.”

According to Al Jazeera Iran’s foreign minister has hailed an agreement between Turkey and Russia to avert an assault on the Syrian rebel-held Idlib province, as an example of “responsible diplomacy”.

An agreement to halt plans for an offensive on the last major rebel-held stronghold was announced in the Black Sea resort of Sochi on Monday after a meeting between the Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

On his Twitter account, Zarif wrote: “Intensive responsible diplomacy over the last few weeks-pursued in my visits to Ankara & Damascus, followed by the Iran-Russia-Turkey Summit in Tehran and the meeting (in) Sochi-is succeeding to avert war in #Idlib with a firm commitment to fight extremist terror. Diplomacy works.”

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the agreement reached in Sochi, which for now avoids full scale conflict in Idlib, Syria. Who won, who lost, and which interests were met with the DMZ agreement?

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Via Xinhuanet

An anticipated Syrian military offensive on the northwestern province of Idlib is on hold after Turkey and Russia reached a deal following Ankara’s guarantee on behalf of the rebel groups, experts said.

The deal was reached Monday by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Sochi, Russia, as the two sides agreed to create a demilitarized buffer zone in Idlib, the last rebel stronghold.

This agreement brings Turkey to a position of giving a guarantee on behalf of the rebel groups, the experts said.

“Moscow is convinced that it would not be able to handle the burden of a humanitarian tragedy in case of a military offensive in Idlib,” said Metin Gurcan, a Turkish security analyst with the Istanbul Policy Center of Sabanci University.

Russia has also secured its airbases in northern Syria, including its airbase in Hmeymim as a guarantee by Turkey under the Sochi agreement, he said.

Gurcan recalled a trilateral summit of Turkey, Iran and Russia held in Iranian capital Tehran early September, which ended without agreement as Erdogan’s call for a ceasefire in Idlib was rejected by Moscow and Tehran.

Erdogan’s proposal for a ceasefire by all parties in Idlib was rejected by Putin on the grounds that those groups were not represented at the table there, he said.

“Now Turkey has given a guarantee on behalf of radical groups which Putin earlier said that ceasefire cannot be discussed because they were not represented at Tehran meeting,” Gurcan said.

Now everyone is curious how Turkey has given guarantee to Moscow and how will those radical groups accept a proposal for demilitarization by surrendering heavy weapons and withdrawing from the demilitarized zone, Gurcan noted.

“Ankara has given this promise relying on its military power on the ground and on its capacity to convince armed opposition groups,” he said.

Turkish army has reinforced its presence in Idlib in the past few months, and Turkey has 12 military outposts with 1,200-1,300 troops on the border line of the province separating the rebel stronghold from the pro-Iran militia-controlled South of Aleppo and the government-controlled southeast, Gurcan said.

Rebel groups, including the Free Syrian Army, in the region are gathered with Turkish backing under the banner of the “National Front for Liberation.”

Putin and Erdogan agreed on Monday in Sochi to create a 15-20 km buffer zone along the line of contact between rebels and regime troops by Oct. 15.

The agreement entails the “withdrawal of all radical fighters” from Idlib as well as “heavy weaponry from this zone,” Putin said at the joint press conference after signing the deal with Erdogan.

By the end of the year, transportation routes between the key port of Latakia and Aleppo as well as the city of Hama must be restored, Putin added.

The Russian leader also said all heavy weapons had to be withdrawn from the zone by Oct. 10, according to Erdogan’s proposal.

Ankara has been warning against any military offensive by Russia-backed Syrian regime forces in Idlib, warning that it would lead to a humanitarian crisis and refugee influx to the Turkish border.

Turkey and Russia, along with Iran, are guarantors of the Astana deal which declared ceasefire in four de-escalation zones in Syria, including Idlib.

Turkey will deploy more troops in Idlib province after the Sochi deal, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Tuesday.

“We will need extra troop reinforcements. Turkey and Russia will patrol on the border areas. Civilians and moderate (opposition) will stay here,” Cavusoglu said.

Another outcome of the Sochi deal is that Turkey and Russia prevented a possible attack by the United States in Idlib, Naim Baburoglu from Aydin University said.

He recalled that the U.S. was giving signals that it wanted to intervene in the situation in Idlib, if Syrian government troops launch an assault on the rebel stronghold.

Washington recently threatened to take swift and decisive actions against any use of chemical weapons in Idlib.

“This agreement showed that the U.S. has room for maneuver only in the east of Euphrates and Manbij region,” Baburoglu said.

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Pat Buchanan: “The Late Hit” On Judge Kavanaugh

Wha exactly is professor Ford’s case against Judge Kavanaugh?

Patrick J. Buchanan

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Authored by Patrick Buchanan via Buchanan.org:


Upon the memory and truthfulness of Christine Blasey Ford hangs the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh, his reputation and possibly his career on the nation’s second-highest court.

And much more. If Kavanaugh is voted down or forced to withdraw, the Republican Party and conservative movement could lose their last best hope for recapturing the high court for constitutionalism.

No new nominee could be vetted and approved in six weeks. And the November election could bring in a Democratic Senate, an insuperable obstacle to the elevation of a new strict constructionist like Kavanaugh.

The stakes are thus historic and huge.

And what is professor Ford’s case against Judge Kavanaugh?

When she was 15 in the summer of ’82, she went to a beer party with four boys in Montgomery County, Maryland, in a home where the parents were away.

She says she was dragged into a bedroom by Brett Kavanaugh, a 17-year-old at Georgetown Prep, who jumped her, groped her, tried to tear off her clothes and cupped her mouth with his hand to stop her screams.

Only when Kavanaugh’s friend Mark Judge, laughing “maniacally,” piled on and they all tumbled off the bed, did she escape and lock herself in a bathroom as the “stumbling drunks” went downstairs. She fled the house and told no one of the alleged rape attempt.

Not until 30 years later in 2012 did Ford, now a clinical psychologist in California, relate, in a couples therapy session with her husband, what happened. She says she named Kavanaugh as her assailant, but the therapist’s notes of the session make no mention of Kavanaugh.

During the assault, says Ford, she was traumatized. “I thought he might inadvertently kill me.”

Here the story grows vague. She does not remember who drove her to the party. She does not say how much she drank. She does not remember whose house it was. She does not recall who, if anyone, drove her home. She does not recall what day it was.

She did not tell her parents, Ford says, as she did not want them to know she had been drinking. She did not tell any friend or family member of this traumatic event that has so adversely affected her life.

Said Kavanaugh in response, “I categorically and unequivocally deny this allegation. I did not do this back in high school or at any time.”

Mark Judge says it never happened.

Given the seriousness of the charges, Ford must be heard out. But she also needs to be cross-examined and have her story and character probed as Kavanaugh’s has been by FBI investigators as an attorney for the Ken Starr impeachment investigation of Bill Clinton, a White House aide to George Bush, a U.S. appellate judge and a Supreme Court nominee.

During the many investigations of Kavanaugh’s background, nothing was unearthed to suggest something like this was in character.

Some 65 women who grew up in the Chevy Chase and Bethesda area and knew Kavanaugh in his high school days have come out and spoken highly of his treatment of girls and women.

Moreover, the way in which all of this arose, at five minutes to midnight in the long confirmation process, suggests that this is political hardball, if not dirt ball.

When Ford, a Democrat, sent a letter detailing her accusations against Kavanaugh to her California congresswoman, Anna Eshoo, Ford insisted that her name not be revealed as the accuser.

She seemingly sought to damage or destroy the judge’s career behind a cloak of anonymity. Eshoo sent the letter on to Sen. Diane Feinstein, who held it for two months.

Excising Ford’s name, Feinstein then sent it to the FBI, who sent it to the White House, who sent it on to the Senate to be included in the background material on the judge.

Thus, Ford’s explosive charge, along with her name, did not surface until this weekend.

What is being done here stinks. It is a transparently late hit, a kill shot to assassinate a nominee who, before the weekend, was all but certain to be confirmed and whose elevation to the Supreme Court is a result of victories in free elections by President Trump and the Republican Party.

Palpable here is the desperation of the left to derail Kavanaugh, lest his elevation to the high court imperil their agenda and the social revolution that the Warren Court and its progeny have been able to impose upon the nation.

If Kavanaugh is elevated, the judicial dictatorship of decades past, going back to the salad days of Earl Warren, William Brennan, Hugo Black and “Wild Bill” Douglas, will have reached its end. A new era will have begun.

That is what is at stake.

The Republican Senate should continue with its calendar to confirm Kavanaugh before Oct. 1, while giving Ford some way to be heard, and then Kavanaugh the right to refute. Then let the senators decide.

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Russian Il-20 downed by Syrian missile. Russia blames Israel. Israel blames Syria (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 110.

Alex Christoforou

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The unthinkable has happened in Syria.

The world now teeters on the brink of all out war in Syria as a Russian Il-20 was downed by Syrian missile after Israeli F-16s used it as cover during attack, according to statements made by the Russian Ministry of Defense.

President Vladimir Putin, answering a reporter’s question during a press conference with Hungarian PM Viktor Orban, said the downing of the Russian Il-20 plane looks like “a chain of tragic circumstances.” 

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the tripwire triggered that has the potential to tip the fragile balance in Syria towards conflict between Russia, Iran and Israel.

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The Russian military says an Israeli raid on Syria triggered a chain of events that led to its Il-20 plane being shot down by a Syrian S-200 surface-to-air missile. Moscow reserves the right to respond accordingly.

Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said…

“Israel did not warn the command of the Russian troops in Syria about the planned operation. We received a notification via a hotline less than a minute before the strike, which did not allow the Russian aircraft to be directed to a safe zone.”

The statement by the Russian Defense Ministry said that four Israeli F-16 fighter jets attacked targets in Syria’s Latakia after approaching from the Mediterranean.

The Israeli warplanes approached at a low altitude and “created a dangerous situation for other aircraft and vessels in the region.”

The statement further said that 15 Russian military service members have died as a result…

“The Israeli pilots used the Russian plane as cover and set it up to be targeted by the Syrian air defense forces. As a consequence, the Il-20, which has radar cross-section much larger than the F-16, was shot down by an S-200 system missile.”

According to reports from RT, the Russian military said that the French Navy’s frigate ‘Auvergne,’ as well as a Russian Il-20 plane were in the area during the Israeli operation.

Map of the incident on September 17 in Syria provided by the Russian defense ministry.

The Russian ministry said the Israelis must have known that the Russian plane was present in the area, but this did not stop them from executing “the provocation.” Israel also failed to warn Russia about the planned operation in advance. The warning came just a minute before the attack started, which “did not leave time to move the Russian plane to a safe area,”the statement said.

The statement gives a larger death toll than earlier reports by the Russian military, which said there were 14 crew members on board the missing Il-20. It said a search and rescue operation for the shot-down plane is underway.

A later update said debris from the downed plane was found some 27km off the Latakia coast. The search party collected some body parts, personal possessions of the crew, and fragments of the plane.

Meanwhile Israel has come out to blame the Syrian government for the downing of the military plane, according to an IDF statement.

Israel said that it “expresses sorrow for the death of the aircrew members” of the Russian plane. However, it stated that the government of Bashar Assad “whose military shot down the Russian plane,” is “fully responsible” for the incident.

Israel further blamed Iran and Hezbollah for the incident.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) explained that its jets were targeting a Syrian facility “from which systems to manufacture accurate and lethal weapons were about to be transferred on behalf of Iran to Hezbollah in Lebanon.”

Israel claimed that the weapons were “meant to attack Israel.”

Via RT

The IDF assumed that the Syrian anti-air batteries “fired indiscriminately” and didn’t “bother to ensure that no Russian planes were in the air.” The Israelis said that when the Syrian military launched the missiles which hit the Russian plane, its own jets were already within Israeli airspace. “During the strike against the target in Latakia, the Russian plane that was then hit was not within the area of the operation.”

According to the Israeli military, both IDF and Russia have “a deconfliction system,” which was agreed upon by the leadership of both states, and “has proven itself many times over recent years.” The system was in use when the incident happened, the IDF stated. The IDF promised to share “all the relevant information” with Russia “to review the incident and to confirm the facts in this inquiry.”

The military presented a four-point initial inquiry into events in Latakia. It insisted that “extensive and inaccurate” Syrian anti-aircraft fire caused the Russian jet “to be hit and downed.”

The Russian Il-20 aircraft, with 15 crew on board, went off radar during an attack by four Israeli jets on Syria’s Latakia province late Monday. Later on Tuesday the Russian Defense Ministry said that an Israeli raid on Syria triggered a chain of events that led to its plane being shot down by a Syrian S-200 surface-to-air missile.

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