More than 600 Russian soldiers liberating Syria from invading ISIS jihadists have been killed in separate targeted attacks by US forces, as regional experts warn the event is a serious escalation in the war that has been called the powderkeg for World War 3.
Footage of a US fighter jet destroying a Russian tank has been posted online by news sources, amid claims the United States are operating illegally in sovereign Syrian territory by assisting the “moderate rebels”, also known as ISIS and al-Qaeda.
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The US jet destroyed a Russian T-72 tank during a bombing raid designed to protect invading Islamic State fighters in Syria on Saturday, reportedly killing hundreds of fighters, including a number of Russian soldiers.
The aggressive military action signals that the US has dropped the mask of terrorist assets in Syria and is now openly engaging in direct, illegal action against Syria and another nation that is there legally at the request of the democratically elected Syrian government.
The US-led attack on Russian forces in Syria comes in the same week that Secretary of Defense James Mattis admitted there was no evidence for claims President Assad used chemical weapons on his own people. The Pentagon had previously used the false claim to justify the American military presence in Syria.
According to a Pentagon spokesman, the tank was targeted near Al Tabiyeh in a bid to stop it firing towards a position held by American forces and their “Syrian allies.” However critics of the attack point out the position is not held by “Syrians” but rather by radical jihadists intent on toppling the Assad government.
The deadly strike occurred days after the US military said its coalition had carried out strikes in “self-defense” against forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the same region, leaving an estimated more than 100 pro-regime personnel dead.
However, critics have pointed out that as the invading force operating on sovereign territory, the United States cannot claim to be acting in self-defense when attacking positions held by sovereign government forces.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has yet to provide public comment on the mass deaths, raising fears of retaliatory strikes. Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov refrained from commenting on the reports about the deaths this week, preferring to tread carefully around the issue, saying on Tuesday that the numbers of dead need to be verified.
Asked during a conference call with reporters if Putin raised the episode during Monday’s phone conversation with President Donald Trump, Peskov said the situation in Syria wasn’t discussed during the call.