Together with air strikes against IS, Russia and the US run the risk of clashing in Syria

Avatar of Nick John By Nick John Dec23,2023 #Russia #Syria #Together
Together with air strikes against IS, Russia and the US run the risk of clashing in Syria 0
Together with air strikes against IS, Russia and the US run the risk of clashing in Syria 0

A Russian air strike was carried out in Homs, Syria.

Right before Russia’s first air strike, everything happened as quickly as an action movie, according to Reuters.

Tension increases

According to the Washington Post, Russia’s mobilization of its air force to intervene deeply in the situation in Syria risks affecting the strategies that the US is pursuing here, while Pentagon officials announced they had initially achieved

Moscow’s move also deepened the disagreement between Russia and the US about the future of Syria.

The Russian Defense Minister said that the country’s warplanes had carried out about 20 attacks against locations controlled by IS.

But US officials expressed doubts about announcements from Russia and Syria because according to Washington’s information, the areas around Homs are not terrorist strongholds.

Charles Lister, an expert from the Brookings Doha Center, assessed that these attacks appear to be part of an effort to weaken the forces opposing the Assad government, not IS.

However, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov still affirmed that the goals Moscow is aiming for are exactly the same as the `terrorist groups` that the US-led coalition has been attacking for so long.

Together with air strikes against IS, Russia and the US run the risk of clashing in Syria

Graphics: ISW

Risk of collision

According to analysts, in addition to further escalating tensions between Russia and the US, Moscow’s airstrikes also have the potential to lead to unexpected encounters on the ground that neither side wants to happen.

In the future, if both superpowers continue to carry out their own air attack campaigns and disagreements cause them to stop communicating and informing each other about bombing plans, there is a possibility of risks occurring.

`You don’t have time to report the incident to the presidential level when two planes are crashing into each other at 20 miles per minute (1,930 km/h),` Reuters quoted an unnamed US official as saying.

The fact that Russia acted so hastily and informed the US side so quickly, just an hour before launching the airstrike, also caused experts to warn about the risk of an air collision that could happen at any time.

`That is not the way responsible countries usually do things,` commented an anonymous US official.

The US’s tough attitude is also a factor that increases risks.

According to National Post, on the same day, Washington carried out several bombings near the Syrian city of Aleppo but did not notify Moscow of the location or time of the action.

`No, we did not report it,` said a US official.

However, contrary to many people’s concerns, observer Emma Ashford believes that the risk of a Russia-US clash in Syria is not worrying.

Russia’s contribution to the situation in Syria will help relieve some of the pressure that the United States is facing regarding resolving the chaotic situation in this region.

In fact, the partnership between the United States and Russian- and Iranian-backed forces in Syria may be the most effective way to reduce the power of IS in the long term.

On the other hand, the number of fighter jets that Russia committed to dispatching to Syria is quite small, only 32, combined with the fact that the country is currently facing many difficulties such as the unstable situation in eastern Ukraine,

According to Dave Deptula, retired lieutenant general of the US Air Force, the level of risk is also minimized by the limits placed on the US military’s deployment capacity in Syria.

`The US air force’s activities in Syria are not too strong,` commented Mr. Deptula, currently director of the Mitchell Institute for Space Research.

Paul Schwartz, senior expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), said the risk of an air war between the US and Russia over Syria is very rare.

`Both sides are trying their best to avoid such conflicts,` Schwartz said.

According to ABC News, senior officials from Russia and the US yesterday held a discussion session to discuss ways to avoid an air collision scenario in Syria when both sides conduct air strikes.

Peter Cook, Pentagon press secretary, described the online meeting as taking place in a `cordial and professional` atmosphere.

The two countries also negotiated to agree on an international frequency for emergency calls as well as the language used when communicating via telephone.

`The goal of these conversations is to find the most effective and professional way so that our squadrons do not make mistakes or make inaccurate calculations,` Mr. Cook emphasized.

Together with air strikes against IS, Russia and the US run the risk of clashing in Syria

Areas of control of the forces in Syria.

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