US call for no-fly zone in Syria foil to protect its terrorist proxies

TEHRAN, Sep. 27 (MNA) – Political analyst Finian Cunningham, in an interview with MNA, said the US recent calls for no-fly zone in Syria is “a desperate bid by the American state-sponsoring terrorist coalition to afford much needed cover for their proxy fighting assets on the ground.”

In an exclusive interview conducted by Mehr News Agency, Finian Cunningham, an expert on international affairs and an analyst of the current Syrian crisis, shed light on the various aspects of the US war agenda in Syria. He believes that the recent US-led airstrikes on a Syrian army position which killed at least 60 soldiers was carried out deliberately. Furthermore, he asserts that the attack, contrary to US claims, had not been coordinated with the Russian side, and that the call for no-fly zones by John Kerry this week – which demands that Russia stop its airstrikes while the US warplanes would continue their own air campaign –  is “a foil to salvage the terrorist proxies from what promises to be a historic defeat.” The Irish political commentator, who is currently based in East Africa, also maintained that the ceasefire failure proves that “Washington is an accomplice in the state-sponsored terrorist war on Syria.”

The following is MNA’s interview with Mr. Cunningham, who has worked for over 20 years as an editor and writer in major news media organizations, including The Mirror, Irish Times and Independent:

On 17 September, the US-led coalition airstrikes killed about 80 of Syrian soldiers and wounded at least 120 others near Deir Ezzor Airport in an eastern part of Syria.

The US military said it was targeting ISIL militants and if it hit Syrian troops, it was ‘unintentional’; meanwhile, Russia and Syria said the strikes prove the US and its allies are defending ISIL. How do you evaluate this development?

The American action at Deir Ezzor was a deliberate murderous attack on the Syrian army to augment the regime-change proxy terrorist forces on the ground.

In believing American official claims that the attack on the Syrian Arab Army base at Deir Ezzor was an “accident” – as the Western media automatically did without question – is stretching credulity to breaking point. This is a major Syrian army base with hundreds of troops and an airfield. The American military were reportedly observing the site for two days before the attack, which was launched with at least four warplanes and a drone. It was a sustained attack lasting up to one hour. The American air raid was also accompanied by ISIL militants on the ground assaulting the base. Since we know that Washington has been covertly sponsoring, arming and training terrorist proxy groups in its dirty war for regime change in Syria since March 2011, one has to conclude that the American action at Deir Ezzor was a deliberate murderous attack on the Syrian army to augment the regime-change proxy terrorist forces on the ground. Russia and Syria are correct in their skepticism towards US claims to the contrary. Such US claims are contemptible deception to cover up what is in actual fact a war crime.

Furthermore, US claims that they have conferred with Russian military before the strikes and they immediately halted the airstrikes when the coalition was informed by Russian officials that they might be hitting Syrian troops. On the other hand, Russia blamed the US for failing to coordinate with them on the airstrikes. What is exactly going on here?

US claims of communicating details ahead of the attack sortie to the Russians are also hard to take seriously. The US and Russia have a “deconfliction” arrangement whereby they are supposed to notify each other of their respective aircraft maneuvers. On the Deir Ezzor incident, the Americans may have given some vague notice of aircraft operating in that part of the country. But it is doubtful that the information would have been detailed and precise in such a way as to have properly alerted the Russians to a pending “mistaken attack” on the Syrian army at the Deir Ezzor base. This would contradict the conspicuous and steadfast refusal of the Americans to coordinate with the Russians over the past year in Syria operations supposedly to combat the terror groups. After a year of refusing to coordinate with the Russians on this, now we are expected to believe that the Americans suddenly did a U-turn on their de facto policy of non-cooperation. Again, the Russian version of the incident is much more credible and logical.

Diplomatic quarrels between the US and Russia grow more heated as escalating violence in Syria has left a ceasefire reached earlier this month in tatters. Now John Kerry has proposed a no-fly” zone over the Syrian battle zones in order to prevent the Syrian government from attacking civilian targets with the excuse that it is just going after Nusra.” As it is now proved that Al-Nusra is connected to and affiliated with Al Qaeda, this proposal seems to be giving more credibility to the argument that the US is backing terrorists in Syria. What is your opinion on that?

Yes, that is a sensible deduction. US Secretary of State John Kerry’s calls for a no-fly zone seem to be a desperate bid by the American state-sponsoring terrorist coalition to afford much needed cover for their proxy fighting assets on the ground. The implementation of no-fly zones has long been a demand by the Turkish and Saudi regimes, and now Washington appears to be endorsing such a move as well. The situation is this: The US-led coalition’s covert war for regime change in Syria is facing defeat from the formidable combined forces of the Syrian army, Russia, Iran and Hezbollah. The battle of Aleppo portends the ultimate defeat of the US-led international conspiracy to terrorize the nation of Syria into submitting to its hegemonic designs for regime change. Given the high stakes, the US is now showing growing frustration over losing its covert war. The call for no-fly zones by John Kerry this week – under the cynical guise of protecting humanitarian aid convoys – is a foil in order to salvage the terrorist proxies from what promises to be a historic defeat.

Speaking of humanitarian aid convoys, one such convoy of the UN and the Red Crescent came under an air attack on the Castello Highway on 19 September. The UN first claimed it was an ‘airstrike’, but the Russian delegation noted that neither the Russian nor the Syrian air forces have attacked the convoy, which made the UN revise the statement to say ‘an unknown attack’. The US, on the other hand, is accusing Russia or Syrian government for the attack, without presenting any evidence. What is your evaluation of this? Can one conclude that it has been an airstrike, carried out by the US forces and UN has revised the statement under Washington’s pressure as it has done it in the case of Yemen and under Saudi pressures?

It is entirely probable that the attack on the aid convoy was another false flag to smear Syria and Russia in order to extract political concessions for the US.

This is typical Western propaganda technique. Accusations are leveled and amplified by the Western mass news media, without any facts or supporting evidence. It is bombast that relies on forceful and repeated assertion in order to give it a veneer of credibility. The Al Nusra terror group’s media helpers known as the White Helmets – who pose as first aid responders – were conveniently in place and at precise time to make a video of the aid convoy trucks having been attacked. The video, as usual, was then disseminated by the Western mass media, without question or verification. The nature of the damage to the aid trucks suggests that they were set ablaze or fired upon from the ground, according to reliable sources. That negates the claims made by the American government and Western media that the aid convoy was hit by a Russian or Syrian air strike. Besides, the Syrian and Russian authorities have categorically refuted that allegation. Also, Russian drone video footage shows that the aid convoy passed unharmed from Syrian government-held western Aleppo into the militant-held eastern quarter. A mortar-carrying vehicle belonging to the insurgents passed near the convoy. For the past week, since the ceasefire was implemented on September 12, the various illegally armed insurgent groups – the US-led coalition’s terrorist proxies – were shelling and sniping at the proposed aid route into eastern Aleppo. The militants were even warning that they would attack forthcoming humanitarian convoys in protest over the proposed ceasefire. What actually happened to the attacked convoy is not clear. But it would be highly conceivable that it was raided by the US-sponsored terror groups and the incident was then misattributed to Syrian or Russian forces in a false-flag propaganda exercise. The nearly six-year Syrian regime-change covert war has seen numerous false flags, such as the massacre at Houla back in May 2012 and the alleged chemical weapon atrocity at East Ghouta in August 2013, which were followed by saturated Western media coverage alleging that the Syrian government forces were to blame, whenever in fact it was the Western-backed surrogate terror brigades. Given the systematic behavior, it is entirely probable that the attack on the aid convoy last week in Aleppo was another such false flag to smear Syria and Russia in order to extract political concessions, such the demand now from Washington for no-fly zones to be established, which as noted above, has the real purpose of providing protective cover for its terrorist proxies.

While the US had suggested that it can control armed groups in ceasefire, hundred cases of truce violation have been committed by them and Washington has failed to control them. Some believe the recent cessation of hostilities and its subsequent failure proves a discord among Americans and their former allies in region which are Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar; they did not follow the US demands and allowed terrorist and armed groups in Syria to violate the truce. What is your take on this and if this is the case, what can be the next scenarios for the US in Syria?

Syria’s ceasefire failure proves beyond doubt that Washington is an accomplice in the state-sponsored terrorist war on Syria.

I am not aware of any major rift between the US and its co-conspirators for regime change in Syria – Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. There has always been tensions over tactics, with Turkey and Saudi Arabia usually being more gung-ho than Washington. My take on the ceasefire failure is simply that it proves beyond doubt that Washington is an accomplice in the state-sponsored terrorist war on Syria. The fact that Washington’s appeal for “moderate rebels” to dissociate from “terrorists” was spectacularly shown to be futile indicates in turn that the official Western narrative about the Syrian conflict is a load of lies. The Western claim of supporting a “secular, vetted opposition” in a “pro-democracy uprising” – while at the same time supposedly fighting terrorism – is demonstrated to be a mockery of the truth. The truth being that Washington and its NATO and Arab clients are guilty of waging a war on Syria with various terrorist brigades acting as their proxy ground forces. The ceasefire was immediately violated by all these insurgent groups and there evidently was no distinction between them as Washington and the dutiful Western mass media have been claiming for the past six years. That glaring moment of truth was unbearable for Washington to allow, and in my opinion that was a pressing reason for the US to “kill the ceasefire”. With its terrorist proxies facing defeat, there is now a very imminent danger of the US and its NATO and Arab dictator allies escalating military intervention directly. The recent occupation and annexation of Syrian territory by Turkish and American military forces is a grim harbinger that the covert war for regime change may be turning into an overt war – an international war no less involving NATO on one side and Russia and Iran on the other. Readers may refer to my latest article on that.

Originally from Belfast, Ireland, Finian Cunningham (born 1963) is a prominent expert in international affairs. The author and media commentator is a Master’s graduate in Agricultural Chemistry and worked as a scientific editor for the Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, England, before pursuing a career in journalism. For over 20 years, Cunningham worked as an editor and writer in the mainstream news media, including The Mirror, Irish Times and Independent. 

Interview by: Marjohn Sheikhi 

News Code 120008


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