JCoS Dunford warns Syrian “no-fly” zone means war with Russia
Bill Van Auken, WSWS, Sep 24 2016
The enforcement of a “no-fly” zone in Syria would mean a Pindo war with both Syria and Russia, JCoS Dunford told the Senate Armed Services Committee Thursday. Dunford spelled out the grave implications of the policy advocated by both predominant sections within the Republican Party as well as Hillary Clinton amid rising violence in Syria and increasing pressure by Washington on the Russian government to unilaterally agree to grounding its own aircraft as well as those of the Syrian government. Jackass Kerry has repeatedly demanded that Russia adhere to what would essentially be a one-sided “no-fly” zone under conditions in which Pindo warplanes would continue carrying out airstrikes. Jackass presented his proposal as a means of reviving and restoring “credibility” to a ceasefire agreement that he and Lavrov negotiated on Sep 9, which collapsed less than a week after its implementation in the face of hundreds of violations by Pindo-backed Islamist “rebels” who refused to accept its terms, as well as two major back-to-back attacks. The first was carried out by Pindo and allied warplanes one week ago against a Syrian army position, killing as many as 90 Syrian soldiers and wounding another 100. Washington claimed that the bombing was a mistake, but Syrian officials have pointed to what appeared to be a coordination of the airstrike with a ground offensive by Daesh, who briefly overran the bombed position. This was followed on Sep 19 by an attack on a humanitarian aid convoy in Aleppo that killed at least 20 and destroyed 18 trucks. Pindostan immediately blamed Russia for the attack, without providing any evidence to support the charge. Russia and the Syrian government have denied responsibility and suggested that the so-called “rebels” shelled the convoy. The Pindo position was reflected in the testimony of both Dunford and Ashtray Carter before the Senate panel Thursday. The general admitted to the committee:
I don’t have the facts (but) there is no doubt in my mind that the Russians are responsible.
Similarly, Ashtray declared:
The Russians are responsible for this strike whether they conducted it or not.
The collapse of the ceasefire under the weight of these incidents abrogated an agreement that had been bitterly opposed by both Ashtray and the chiefs of staff. The latter have publicly declared their opposition, in terms bordering on insubordination, to the deal’s provision for coordinated actions and intelligence sharing with Russia. This view was reiterated Thursday by Dunford, who declared:
(Based on the) combination of their behavior and their military capability, Russia is the most significant threat to our national interests.
Asked if he supported the proposal for intelligence-sharing, Dunford responded:
We don’t have any intention of having an intelligence-sharing arrangement with the Russians.
Speaking in New York Thursday night after the so-called International Syria Support Group ended a meeting with no progress toward restoring the Pindo-Russian ceasefire agreement, Jackass declared:
The only way to achieve that is if the ones who have the air power in this part of the conflict simply stop using it, not for one day or two but for as long as possible, so that everyone can see that they are serious.
After leaving the same meeting, Sergei Lavrov rejected the demand that the Syrian government take “unilateral steps” under conditions in which the Pindo-backed “rebels” reject the ceasefire. He said:
We insist (that they) support steps being taken (against) the opposition as well, so as not to let Jabhat al-Nusra take advantage of this situation. (my reading – RB)
This, however, is precisely the aim of Washington. The Pindosi military-intelligence complex is increasingly concerned that with the backing of Russia and Iran, the Syrian government is on the brink of breaking the five-year-old siege waged by the Islamist militias armed by the CIA and paid by Turks, Toads & Thanis. Syrian and Russian planes began intense bombardment of “rebel”-held eastern Aleppo on Friday, in what has been reported as preparation for a major ground offensive to retake this area of the city. If the offensive proves successful, the Pindo war for regime change will have suffered a strategic reversal. Nusra constitutes the backbone of the proxy forces employed by Pindo imperialism to effect regime change in Syria. One of the major controversies surrounding the Pindo-Russian truce agreement was its call for Pindostan to persuade the “rebels” on its payroll to separate themselves from Nusra. This Washington was unable and unwilling to do, both because they are so closely integrated with the AQ elements and because they could not survive as a fighting force without them. The imposition of a no-fly zone over Aleppo and other Nusra-controlled areas is increasingly seen as a life and death matter for the Pindo-backed Islamists. As Thursday’s Senate hearing indicated, while Jackass is appealing to Russia to voluntarily stand down, there are significant elements within the Pindosi state that are calling for the imposition of the no-fly zone by force. Dunford was asked by Sen R Wicker if Pindostan could take “decisive action” in imposing a no-fly zone. Wicker indicated that he had discussed the matter with Democrats, who indicated that they would support such a venture if the Pindo intervention were given another name Dunford replied to the Senator:
For now, for us to control all the airspace in Syria would require us to go to war with Syria and Russia. That’s a pretty fundamental decision that certainly I’m not going to make.
Dunford’s remark provoked an intervention by the committee chairman, ‘Walnuts’ McCain, who pushed him to clarify that total control of the Syrian airspace would require war with Russia and Syria, while a no-fly zone could potentially be imposed short of that. The hearing provided a chilling exposure of the discussions going on within the Pindosi state and its military over actions that could quickly spiral into an all-out confrontation with Russia. In separate remarks the day before the Senate hearing, both Ashtray and Dunford stressed that Pindostan will maintain its military deployment in the Middle East long after the defeat of ISIS, the pretext for the current interventions in Iraq and Syria. Speaking to the Air Force Association conference, Dunford declared that decisions would have to be taken on the establishment of permanent military headquarters and command-and-control infrastructure. He declared in a “troop talk” streamed live on social media:
If you assume, like I do, that we’re going to be in that region, if not Iraq, for many, many years to come… What is obvious and very clear is that we’re going to be in that region for a while. ISIL is a big problem, but one we’re going to take care of through defeat. But we have Iran over there, we have other issues in the Middle East.
In other words, Washington is planning the continuation of its unending wars in the Middle East, including military action directed against Iran, with the aim of imposing Pindo hegemony over the region’s vast energy resources and strategically weakening the principal targets of Pindo imperialist aggression, Russia and China.