By Caitlin JOHNSTONE
Numerous Syrian and foreign militants have reportedly been killed and several US troops injured in an escalating exchange of attacks between the American invaders and the people in the country whose territory they are illegally occupying.
On Tuesday night US Central Command announced that it had “conducted precision airstrikes in Deir ez-Zor Syria” in order to “defend and protect U.S. forces from attacks like the ones on August 15 against U.S. personnel by Iran-backed groups.”
“The President gave the direction for these strikes pursuant to his Article II authority to protect and defend U.S. personnel by disrupting or deterring attacks by Iran-backed groups,” CENTCOM said.
Iran has denied any link to the troops targeted in the airstrikes, up to ten of whom were reportedly killed.
The US attack was followed by rocket attacks on US military positions in eastern Syria, injuring an unknown number of US troops, to which the US responded with an Apache helicopter assault on Syrian vehicles from which it claims the rockets were launched. Central Command claims “two or three suspected Iran-backed militants” were killed in the helicopter attack.
As of this writing it remains to be seen if this exchange of attacks will continue, but what’s crystal clear is who the aggressor is.
“US claims to be in Syria to fight ISIS, but it rarely fights ISIS,” journalist Aaron Maté tweeted of the exchange. “It’s actually there to deny Syria its own oil and wheat, and to occasionally attack Syrians and their allies who defeated US-backed sectarian death squads in the dirty war.”
What he says is completely true. The US is an occupying force who is there without the permission of the Syrian government, without having been attacked by Syria, and without any valid claim to be defending itself from anyone in Syria. The “Iran-backed” militias in Syria are operating with the full authorization of the Syrian government. The US has quite literally invaded a nation on the other side of the world, killed the people in that nation who don’t want them there, and then claimed self-defense in doing so.
If I broke into my neighbor’s house to steal his things, and then murdered him when he tried to stop me or make me leave, it would look pretty ridiculous if I tried to plead self-defense. It would look even more ridiculous if anyone believed me.
This comes at the same time as a report from Axios that the British special envoy to Syria had nothing but glowing things to say about the way Israel has been constantly bombing Syria for years:
“The British special envoy for Syria told Israeli officials during a visit to Jerusalem several weeks ago that the Israeli airstrike campaign against Iranian military targets is ‘probably the only thing that works in Syria,’ Israeli Foreign Ministry officials briefed on the meetings told Axios.”
“In recent years, Israel has launched hundreds of airstrikes in Syria,” writes Antiwar’s Dave DeCamp on the Axios report. “The Israelis say that the bombing campaign is to prevent Iran from becoming further entrenched in the country, but the strikes often kill Syrian troops and sometimes kill civilians and damage civilian infrastructure.”
“The US tacitly endorses the bombing campaign in Syria and reportedly coordinates some of the strikes,” adds DeCamp. “In June, The Wall Street Journal reported that Israel secretly coordinates the bombings with the US and that Washington has approved many Israeli airstrikes that were launched from areas near a US base in southern Syria.”
So if you’re wondering why western liberals are all waving Syrian flags and loudly condemning the US and its allies for their criminal, murderous assault on a sovereign nation, that’s why.
I am of course kidding; that is not happening. That sort of mainstream public outcry is reserved solely for the misdeeds of governments the US does not approve of, like the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Westerners are only encouraged to contemplate the horrors of war when it is someone else’s war. If it serves the strategic interests of the globe-spanning power structure loosely centralized around the United States, you can bomb your neighbor every week and it will barely make the news. You can even invade a country on the other side of the world and then claim you are defending yourself when they try to throw you out.