Military Strategist Views US Attack on Syrian Army Camp as Response to Assad's Interview with Sunday Times
TEHRAN (FNA)- A retired Lebanese General said the United States' Monday air raid on the Syrian army base in Deir Ezzur was a response to the comments made President Bashar al-Assad in his recent interview with Sunday Times.
The US struck a Syrian Army camp in Deir Ezzur province on Monday, killing 4 soldiers and wounding at least 16 others. The ISIL terrorists stormed the bombed camp after the air raid.
"The US air raid on a Syrian military base in Ayash region in the Western parts of the city of Deir Ezzur should be seen as Washington's reaction to President Assad's recent interview with Sunday Times newspaper and the Russian air force deployment in Syria," Retired Lebanese Brigadier General Ali Maqsoud told FNA on Tuesday.
He reiterated that the US air raid on the Syrian military base was meant convey this message to Damascus and its allies that the Eastern parts of Syria from Deir Ezzur to Raqqa lies under the US control.
Maqsoud said that the US is trying to have a winning card in Syria, and added, "The most important military mission of the US is to win back Raqqa province and for the same reason it prevents the Syrian army's advance in that region."
The US airstrike on Monday targeted the military camp of the Syrian army’s 137th Artillery Brigade (17th Reserve Division) in the Southern part of 'Ayyash' village, killing 4 soldiers instantly and wounding 16 more. Six wounded soldiers were in critical condition.
The Syrian army and its allies have gained upper hand in the Eastern province of Deir Ezzur in the recent weeks, after new recruits of popular forces joined the army and won back new lands across the province , and meantime fended off the ISIL attacks on their positions, mainly the Deir Ezzur airbase.
On Sunday, President Bashar Assad praised Russia for its efforts aimed at defeating terrorist groups, and meantime underlined that the US-led coalition has failed to deliver on the promise to tackle the ISIL.
"Since the US-led coalition launched airstrikes against militant targets in Syria in September 2014, the ISIL, al-Nusra Front and "other like-minded organizations or groups were expanding, expanding freely," the Syrian leader underscored in an interview with the Sunday Times.
"Russia, for its part, has managed to achieve much since September 30, when it launched its aerial campaign in Syria. The ISIL and al-Nusra started shrinking thanks to Moscow's involvement, "Assad said.
He added that Russia's counterterrorism campaign was authorized by Damascus, while the Syrian government did not provide permission to the US to operate on its territory.
"The Russian role is very important. It has had a significant impact on both the military and political arena in Syria… What is definite is that the Russian support to the Syrian people and government from the very beginning, along with the strong and staunch support of Iran, has played a very important part in the steadfastness of the Syrian state in the fight against terrorism."
The Syrian leader stressed that Moscow’s support had been valuable even before it launched its anti-terrorist campaign in Syria.
"The Russians… want to protect Syria, Iraq, the region, themselves and even Europe. I am not exaggerating by saying they are protecting Europe today," Assad said.
Assad emphasized that French and British participation in the US-led airstrike campaign in Syria is illegal under international law and will not be instrumental in defeating the ISIL.
"It is legal only when the participation is in cooperation with the legitimate government in Syria. So, I would say they don't have the will and they don't have the vision on how to defeat terrorism," Assad said.