‘We’re bad day away from Russians asking, ‘Why are you still (illegally) in Syria?’ – top US commander

‘We’re bad day away from Russians asking, ‘Why are you still in Syria?’ – top US commander

A US special operations commander has admitted that an extended US stay in Syria runs contrary to international law and that Russia would be entirely justified in questioning its presence there.

At the Aspen Security Forum on Friday, Special Operations Command chief Army General, Raymond Thomas was asked whether American forces will remain in Syria, after Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) is defeated, possibly, to support the Kurdish forces in the north of the country.

Thomas acknowledged that American forces are fighting in a sovereign Syria, where they will likely “have no ability to stay” if that presence is questioned “in terms of international law,” Thomas said, replying to the Washington Post journalist’s question.

Here’s the conundrum,” Thomas continued. “We are operating in the sovereign country of Syria. The Russians, their stalwarts, their back-stoppers, have already uninvited the Turks from Syria. We’re a bad day away from the Russians saying, ‘Why are you still in Syria, US?’

It has come up in the form of some close calls there, but it will be hard – I defer to the lawyers in the crowd and others in terms of international law on the basis for us staying there other than our CT [counterterrorism] writ. We went there for all the righteous reasons, but if the Russians play that card, we may want to stay and have no ability to do it.

Syrian President Bashar Assad has said that any uninvited foreign troops, including those from the US, are “invaders” who only prolonged the conflict.

Assad has meanwhile invited Russian forces in Syria to join the anti-terrorist operation.

On Friday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said America’s presence in the war-torn country was illegitimate and accused CIA Director Mike Pompeo – who had criticized Russia’s presence in Syria – of practicing “double standards.”

READ MORE: ‘Russians find any place they can make our lives more difficult’ – CIA chief

Lavrov cited Turkish media reports of “ten US bases already having been set up in Syria” and pointed to the “hundreds of military bases of the United States all over the world.”

US still supports Syrian rebels (terrorists) : Lavrov

US still supports Syrian rebels: Lavrov

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov speaks during a meeting with his Egyptian counterpart in Moscow, on March 16, 2016. ©AFP

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday he thinks the United States continues to support opposition groups in Syria.“I understand that the US supports much more groups than just the ones, which were announced as being left without the American weapons,” he said in an interview with NBC News.

Lavrov says US policy of dealing with ‘moderate opposition’ in Syria doomed from start
The Russian foreign minister disagreed with the host who said the United States’ decision to stop supporting Syrian opposition groups could be seen as a concession to Russia

“This decision was made a few weeks before the meeting of G20 [when the two countries’ leaders had their first personal meeting, which among other things focused on the situation in Syria],” he argued.

The Russian top diplomat refrained from commenting Washington’s statements on its cessation of support to a number of groups in Syria, saying only that what matters most is to develop a common approach to the resolution of the Syrian crisis.

“We certainly concentrate on the de-escalation zones, which are designed to stop the fighting between the government and the armed opposition. For them not to attack each other, and hopefully for them to concentrate entirely on fighting ISIL (terror organization Islamic State, which is outlawed in Russia). Therefore, the logic of the opposition and the government to sign a ceasefire, to enter into cessation of hostilities arrangement is very much our logic,” Lavrov stressed.

Presence of any foreign troops or bases in Syria after the conflict resolution will be legitimate with the Syrians’ consent, Lavrov said.

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ALSO READ  US caves to Israeli interests in Syrian de-escalation deal: report

“After the country has been liberated, after the settlement has been reached to the satisfaction of all the Syrian ethnic, confessional and political groups, the presence of the foreign troops, of foreign bases on the soil of Syria would be only legitimate with the consent of the Syrians themselves,” Lavrov said when asked about Russia’s stance on deployment of US bases and checkpoints in north Syria.

CIA Director Mike Pompeo’s concern about deployment of two Russian bases in Syria whereas the United States are reported to have deployed about a dozen shows double standards, Lavrov said.

Moscow has no plans to deploy new military base in Syria — Russian Defense Ministry
“So if a gentleman, who represents a country (that) illegitimately have created ten bases in Syria, is concerned very much about two bases which have been established on the basis of our intergovernmental agreement with a government that is a member of the United Nations, than something is wrong with double standards,” he added.

“Not to mention that hundreds and hundreds of military bases of the United States all over the world and all around Russia seemingly do not cause any concern to Mr. Pompeo or anybody else,” Lavrov said.

Syria’s government did not ask the US’s help in the fight against terrorists, so the presence of US troops in that country is illegitimate, he said. Russia assumes that this presence is justified by a sole goal, which is the fight against so-called Islamic State and other terrorists.

On Tuesday, Turkey’s Anadolu news agency published a map of Syria with locations of US bases and outposts. The agency said that the US had deployed troops and hardware at two bases and eight outposts in northern Syria held by Kurdish Democratic Union party

Pentagon Establishes Ten Illegal US Military Bases in Northern Syria

Pentagon Establishes Ten Illegal US Military Bases in Northern Syria

By Russia Insider, July

No fewer than eleven illegal military bases within Syria’s borders. Turkey Reveals The Extent of Illegal US Military Base Building in Syria

Let us be under no illusions.

Washington objective is to fracture and break up Syria as well as establish a permanent military presence in both Northern and Southern Syria. 

(Michel Chossudovsky, GR, Editor)

*  *  *

Turkey’s state-owned Anadolu news agency has publicized the locations of 10 US bases in northern Syria, many of them previously unknown to the wider public.

For Turkey revealing the extent of increased US support for the Kurdish YPG militia—which Turkey insists is one and the same with the Kurdish PKK group it faces at home—serves to mobilize its public against the US.

Blowing the cover of the Americans is just a cherry on top.

The angle US media is centering on is just how upset the US is with Turkey for publishing this. Pentagon has asked US outlets not to reprint the information published by Anadolu and claimed doing so would endanger lives of US soldiers.

The Daily Beast:

Spokesmen for Operation Inherent Resolve, the U.S.-led coalition fighting ISIS, and for the U.S. Central Command in Tampa, Florida, asked The Daily Beast not to publish the detailed information reported by Anadolu.

“The discussion of specific troop numbers and locations would provide sensitive tactical information to the enemy which could endanger Coalition and partner forces,” wrote Col. Joe Scrocca, coalition director of public affairs.

“Publishing this type of information would be professionally irresponsible and we respectively [sic] request that you refrain from disseminating any information that would put Coalition lives in jeopardy.”


“While we cannot independently verify the sources that contributed to this story, we would be very concerned if officials from a NATO ally would purposefully endanger our forces by releasing sensitive information.”

However, we’d like to point out there is a party that has far more reason to be upset than the US. That would be Syria itself.

Along with the base at Al-Tanf the the US now has at least 11 permanently manned installations on the territory of Syria — all of them illegal.

All images in this article are from the author.

Are the Kurds crazy?

Read on and we’ll tell you

By Ziad Fadel, Syrianperspective

The media is abuzz with news that the Caliph of Cockadoodledoo is not dead, but alive, somewhere in Syria.  It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that that area in Syria will be where American forces and allies are operating.  After all, what could possibly be more dramatic than Donald Trump’s victory over the modern world’s eidos of evil, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdaadi.  His triumph will be greater than Obama’s when the former president basked onanistically in his own self-made glory after assassinating the malevolent, Usaamaa Bin Laadin.

I reported that Al-Baghdaadi was killed 1 year ago by the Syrian Air Force at Al-Mayaadeen.  I hold to my report and consider the issue closed.  It is my argument that the Saddamist Iraqi officers running ISIS are deliberately concealing his death the way the Taliban concealed the death of their leader, Mullah Umar.  If I am wrong, then, I will own up to it.  Yet, I can sense the vibrations of falsehood and deceit all around me.  Is it possible that the Caliph is the ultimate “one hit wonder”?  He has only been seen one time since his sleep-inducing speech at the Al-Noori Mosque in Mosul.

Isn’t it interesting how “sources” emanating from the Kurds in Iraq are trumpeting his rebirth.  Why, it would seem the Americans are planning to bomb Al-Raqqa and conveniently find that one of their bombs landed right on the cringing Caliph turning him into thousands of unidentifiable particles.  Pieces of his body will be flown to England or Germany where unnamed, anonymous, forensic specialists will be able to “confirm” the identity of this blackguard whose rise to eminence was engineered by United States and whose demise was concocted by his self-same creators.  I don’t know about you, folks, but, I think the fiction writers at Langley are working hard to make all this happen.

Like the Mummy played by Boris Karloff in the classic original or the Mummy produced by Hammer Films and played by Christopher Lee, this Caliph is about to undergo a rare treat:  Resurrection of the Body!  Hollywood can do anything, even at Shepperton Studios outside London.  Like Lazarus or a myriad movie psychopaths, he will undergo extinction and rebirth.  I just can’t wait until it comes to a theater near my home.

There is no question any longer about the Kurds going mad.  They are putting statehood to a referendum which the Iranians have called “ill-advised” and the Turks have called “casus belli”.  Needless to say, the United States, anxious to carve Syria up according to plans made for them by the European settlers of the Zionist Obscenity, is behind all this silliness.  And Kurds have, evidently, swallowed the narrative, hook, line and sinker.  Masoud Barazaani, the Iranian-born septuagenarian leader of the Iraqi Kurds, thinks he’s found that Irish pot at the end of the rainbow. He might be surprised to learn that the pot is one used in British bedrooms and dumped out regularly by Kurdish chamberlains.

It appears to many of us that the Kurds have been enlivened by the promises of Donald Trump.  Unaware that the Kurds have been snookered by the Treaty of Lausanne, (because Mr. Trump simply doesn’t read anything), and have been the victims of an entirely endless concatenation of promises, treaties and covenants, he actually thinks the Kurds are stupid enough to fall for his razz-ma-tazz NYC jive. Well,……….they are!  Jokes about Kurdish ignorance are as common as Polish jokes in the U.S.  And that’s because the Kurds keep doing silly things like believing American and British lies.  If the truth be told, the only man who ever kept his promise to the Kurds was Saddam Hussein who vowed, in private, to kill them all and unleashed his cousin, Chemical Ali, to make good on that vow.

Always stateless, they have pined for their own state since time immemorial.  But, the Good Lord works in strange ways.  You see, God in all his magnificence platzed these unfortunates in an area, not only devoid of any access to the sea, but, also, an area populated by everybody else, including Arabs, Iranians, Ayzidis, Chaldeans, Syriacs, Armenians, Assyrians, Azeris, Greeks and even, probably, Trobriand Warriors, Inuits and Amazons, to name but a few.

They have played important roles in Middle Eastern history by producing some of the greatest leaders in aggressive political Islam, not the least of whom is the legendary general and king, SALAAHUDEEN AL-AYYOOBI, who is actually more popular in Europe than he is in the Arab Fertile Crescent.  Saladin, as he is known in the West, was lionized in the movie “Kingdom of Heaven” directed by Ridley Scott.  The movie drew raves in Kobane, but irked all American Evangelists and Pentecostals who viewed the movie as propaganda for the Koran.  It shouldn’t be surprising to learn that the actor who played the role of Saladin was an Arab Syrian named Ghassaan Mas’ood.  Arabs still believe to this day that Saladin was an Arab although you would think that Saladin’s grandfather’s name, Shirkawaih, would be a dead give-away that the Ayyubid king was anything but Arab.

The plan is clear.  I have written about it before.  The army being trained by the Yanks at Al-Tanf on the Jordanteezian border will meet up with the Kurdish heroes after the latter gloriously liberate Al-Raqqa.  Together, these juggernauts will interdict the Baghdad to Damascus Highway and squelch Iranian hopes of reaching the Syrian littoral and/or the boundaries of historic Palestine.  Like the Iranians couldn’t figure that one out.

Well, folks, the big bad army at Al-Tanf is now wedged in between a rock and a hard place.  Iranian-trained Iraqi and Afghan fighters, Hizbollah officers, Syrian Army troops and Popular Defense Committee fighters, all bristling with arms, have now poisoned the well and appear to have junked the entire plan.  With Jaysh Al-Islam now falling apart thanks to Saudi Arabian connivance and unbridled stinginess, it appears that the dream of a Southern Front has given way to a much-needed truce back by the local populations,  It’s all going so dreadfully for the American, Zionist and British planners.  So dreadful that they are packing their bags loaded with Syrian-made rosaries and boxes of baqlaawa.

But, what about the Turks?  We are assuming that the clown in the White House has promised the Kurds the world.  What could those promises entail?  Will the U.S. challenge Turkish revanchism in northern Syria?  If the U.S. does that, the entire NATO alliance goes up in smoke.  It’s kind of like wishful thinking.  Trump paraded his anti-NATO message throughout his campaign and this might be his chance to really put the kibosh on the entire alliance.

Will the Turks balk if the U.S. keeps its word to the Kurds?  I don’t know.  Such a scenario seems to be the kind that would cause a fissure in the party ruled by Sultan Erdoghan or, at least, bring about huge demonstrations with Turks and Kurds all demanding the ouster of the Big Cheese in Ankara.  If the Kurds are allowed to announce the creation of their new state, what will Syria and Iran do?  Will they balk at confronting the U.S.?  Will we see the start of a new insurgency aimed at toppling the PKK or PYG or will we see Iraqi forces moving in on Barazaani?

To be brutally frank, I don’t think the U.S. has thought this one through.  It appears that the CIA is taking its cues from Tel Aviv while everybody else is using a Ouija Board.  Inasmuch as the Syrian-Iranian-Russian plans appear to be 10 removes ahead, the American one is best described as retrograde – every step forward characterized by 10 steps backward – and there is no end in sight for the anarchy in American foreign policy.  I only hope that the Kurds wake up before it’s just too late.


Ziad Fadel - SyrianPerspective
Attorney for 35 years and Supreme Court, 
Certified Interpreter for Arabic/English
Submitted by SyrianPatriots 
The real SyrianFreePress.NETwork at:
Re-publications are welcome, but we kindly ask you,
to facilitate the correct information's diffusion,
to cite all these original links and sources.

Syrian War Report – July 21, 2017: Fierce Clashes Between Army And ISIS


An intense fighting is ongoing between government forces and ISIS terrorists in the area of the Homs-Palmyra highway and near the border with Iraq.

According to pro-government sources, 30 ISIS members were killed and over 50 were injured during clashes in the area of Humaymah near the border with Iraq. 2 Syrian soldiers were killed as a result of the ISIS attack at the Al-Musheirefah Hill in the eastern Homs countryside. At the same time, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and its allies advanced north of the Homs-Palmyra road and captured the Al-Alam Hill south of Taliaa al-Gharbia.

Meanwhile, Russian airstrikes destroyed at least 3 ISIS vehicles in the area of Jub Al-Abied east of Salamiyah.

According to local sources, government forces are going to resume the operation in the eastern Hama countryside within few days. The SAA, the National Defense Forces (NDF) and the Desert Hawks Brigade still see the liberation of Uqayrabat as a key part of the wider effort against ISIS in central Syria.

Right now, government forces cannot push to Deir Ezzor because of a high number of ISIS units operating in the rear of its logistical lines. Sukhna is another point that has to be liberated to resolve the situation.

An intense fighting is ongoing in eastern Damascus where the SAA and the NDF have been attempting to pressure Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the  Syrian branch of al-Qaeda), Faylaq al-Rahman and Jaish al-Islam on multiple fronts. The main clashes are ongoing in the Ayn Tarma area. However, sporadic firefights were also reported in the northeastern part of the pocket. According to pro-militant sources, over 30 government soldiers were killed in the recent clashes.

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), backed up by the US-led coalition, are storming the neighborhoods of Nezlit Shehada and Al-Shaddadi in Raqqah city. According to pro-SDF sources, over 27 ISIS members were killed in the recent clashes and an IED plant was captured. According to ISIS, 8 SDF members were killed recently.

The battle for Raqqah has turned into a very complicated task for the US-backed force. While there is little doubt that the city will be liberated, the question is how much time and manpower will this effort take?

Related Articles

White House Admits Defeat in Syria

By Finian Cunningham

July 21, 2017 “Information Clearing House” – President Trump’s announcement this week to end the CIA’s covert arming of militants in Syria is an admission of defeat. The US has lost its six-year war for regime change in the Arab country. It’s time to wrap it up.

It’s not over yet, of course. It remains to be seen if Trump’s decision can in fact be implemented. Can the CIA be reined in to obey orders? Will the US be able to stop regional client regimes, like Saudi Arabia, from stepping up their covert supply of American weapons to the militants in Syria?

Also, Trump’s decision does not mean the US and its allies will withdraw ground and air forces from Syria, where they are illegally operating in violation of international law.

Nevertheless, the American president’s declared ending of the CIA’s role in fueling the insurgency in Syria should be seen as a welcome move. It is the right thing to do, and a brave one also because of the anti-Russia flak he is bound to receive for taking the decision. It would have been politically expedient for Trump to have not pulled the plug on the CIA in Syria. But by doing so, he is bound to compound the anti-Russia hysteria gripping Washington and large sections of the media accusing him of being a “Kremlin stooge”.

Any rational person would have to agree that the best way to end the violence in Syria is for foreign countries to halt pouring weapons into the country. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has long maintained this logical position: if nations want Syria’s bloodshed to stop, as they claim, then they should stop supplying arms and cut out sponsoring militant groups.

By its own admission, the US has been funneling weapons into Syria since at least 2013, according to media reports, and probably before that date right back to the beginning of the war in March 2011. Not only the US but its NATO partners, Britain, France and Turkey, as well as regional allies Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Israel. This is an admission of a criminal conspiracy to destabilize a sovereign country by supporting illegally armed anti-government militant groups. It matters little whether these groups are arbitrarily designated “moderate rebels”. They are illegally armed.

With a Syrian death toll of up to 400,000 over six years of war, millions of refugees and a culturally rich country driven to the brink of destruction, it is blindingly obvious that Trump made the right call to at least partially reduce the flow of weapons, by ending the CIA program. It is well past time to bring the US-led criminal assault on Syria to an end.

Trump’s call was also a brave one because the US media immediately and predictably depicted the move as a “concession to Russia”. With the US president already being assailed with endless accusations of “colluding” with Russia in winning the election to the White House last year, his decision to leash the dogs of war in Syria this week only lends more grist to the Russophobia rumor mill.

The Washington Post headlined the news with: “Trump ends covert CIA program to arm anti-Assad rebels in Syria, a move sought by Moscow”.

Several other US media outlets followed suit, making snide comments that the move “will please the Kremlin” and that Trump was “appeasing Putin” by closing down the CIA covert operations in Syria.

The American corporate media persist with the myth that the CIA has been backing “moderate rebels”. When in reality, the “moderate rebels” and the “terrorist jihadists” are one and the same motley army of mercenaries. Mercenaries who have barbarized the Syrian people with sickening massacres, under the tutelage of the CIA and other foreign military services.

With contorted logic, US media spin that Trump’s shuttering of the CIA program to train “moderate rebels” in Syria may now strengthen the hand of “extremists”.

The president is accused of capitulating to Putin on Syria. There are mutterings in the US media suggesting that this is what Trump talked about with Putin during their meetings in Hamburg at the G20 summit earlier this month. Especially, during the so-called “secret meeting” in front of 18 other heads of state while at dinner.

What the incorrigible lying US media don’t get is that American involvement in Syria has been a criminal enterprise from the get-go, constituting a monumental crime against peace and humanity. The US-sponsored terrorism in Syria has gone on for far too long. No amount of sanitizing by the media can alter that brutal truth.

It was Russia’s principled decision at the end of 2015 to intervene in Syria, in accordance with international law, that began to bring the criminal conspiracy to an end. Two years on, the Syrian state is beginning to get the upper-hand over the foreign-backed militant groups that have ravaged the country. Russia’s military support has been vital to that impending victory.

“The shuttering of the [CIA] program is also an acknowledgment of Washington’s limited leverage and desire to remove Assad from power,” noted the Washington Post.

In other words, begrudgingly, the US war for regime change in Syria is being acknowledged as a defeat. And it is Russia that ensured that defeat.

The Washington Post quotes one US official as saying more openly: “It is a momentous decision. Putin won in Syria.”

Rather than coming clean and admitting that the US has been engaged in a sordid, criminal war on Syria which it has finally lost, the American media are now spinning Trump’s ending of CIA operations as a “concession” to Russia.

For all his flaws, and there are many, at least Donald Trump knows when to admit that the US war in Syria is a loser. And despite the carping Russophobia trying to box him in, Trump appears ready to take the right decision to bring this criminal American war to an end.

Finian Cunningham has written extensively on international affairs, with articles published in several languages. He 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 newspaper journalism. He is also a musician and songwriter. For nearly 20 years, he worked as an editor and writer in major news media organisations, including The Mirror, Irish Times and Independent.

This article was first published by Sputnik 

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Information Clearing House.


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Syria requests compensation from US over destruction wrought by war

Syria requests compensation from US over destruction wrought by war

The government of the Syrian Arab Republic has written to the United Nations demanding that the international body compensate Syria for its human and material loses which resulted from illegal US and US allied bombings of Syrian infrastructure.

The letter comes shortly after Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov reminded the world that US intervention in Syria is illegal according to the international law that the UN is supposed to enforce.

The full letter from Syria to the UN is reproduced below:

Upon instructions from my Government, and further to previous letters
relating to the aerial bombardments carried out by aircraft of the so-called
international coalition led by the United States of America on villages and areas  populated by civilians and on oil and gas infrastructure and facilities in the Syrian  Arab Republic, I wish to convey to you the following information:

• On 22 April 2017, aircraft of this illegitimate “international coalition” bombed  a gas station in the north-central part of Tuwaynan district in Raqqah governorate.

• On 29 and 30 May 2017, aircraft of this illegitimate “international coalition”
bombed gas wells in the Tabiyah district in Dayr al-Zawr (aka Dier ez-Zoir) governorate.

• On 27 May 2017, aircraft of this illegitimate coalition bombed the village of Hasu Albu Awf in the district of Shaddadah in Hasakah governorate, completely destroying many homes and killing civilians, most of them children.

Of the victims, the following have been identified: Ayd Abdullah al-Husyan, Farhan Ayd al-Husayn and Amal al-Khidr, and children such as Muhammad Farhan al-Husayn, born in 2007, Sarah Farhan al-Husayn, born in 2009, Ibrahim Farhan al-Husayn, born in 2010, Zahrah Farhan al-Husayn, born in 2016, and Yusuf Fariq al-Husayn, born in 2016.

The repeated bombardments by this illegitimate “international coalition”
continue to claim the lives of hundreds of innocent Syrian civilians and to cause
significant material losses and the near-total destruction of Syrian facilities, homes and infrastructure, as well as the utter destruction of Syrian oil and gas facilities and sites.

The attacks by the so-called international coalition, together with the illegal unilateral coercive economic measures imposed on the Syrian Arab Republic by the United States of America, the European Union and other States are impeding the maintenance of those economic facilities and jeopardising the prospects for development and reconstruction in the Syrian Arab Republic.

My Government reaffirms its position that the attacks by the so-called international coalition against Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant within the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic are illegal and violate the Charter of the United Nations and international law, inasmuch as they are being carried out without prior authorisation from or coordination with the Syrian Government.

My Government insists that these attacks must come to an end, and that the members of  S/2017/603, 2/2 17-11960, this illegitimate coalition must bear the political and legal responsibility for the destruction of infrastructure in the Syrian Arab Republic, including responsibility  for compensation.

I should be grateful if this letter could be issued as a document of the Security
(Signed) Mounzer Mounzer.

Thus far, repeated US bombardments of Syria, including in Raqqa government have come under scrutiny for hitting civilian targets as well as key infrastructure. The United States is also accused of using the chemical weapon white phosphorus in both Syria and Iraq.

One of the primary reasons that US bombings often hit civilian targets is due to the fact that America refuses to coordinate its attacks with the Syrian government. By contrast, Russian Aerospace Forces work closely with Syria and its allies and are constantly sharing crucial intelligence.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has invited the United States to participate in the legal anti-terrorist coalition in Syria, but the United States refuses to respond to his calls. Al-Assad subsequently reaffirmed that all forces fighting in, bombing and occupying Syria including the United States, Turkey and Israel, are violating international law.

Syria, like Russia is not interested in fighting the United States. Syria would prefer the US forces to vacate the country while Russia which is fully aware of the illegality of US forces in Syria and has repeatedly stated this, appears to want to bring America into a reasonable peace process.

US-Russian-Jordanian cooperation in respect of enforcing a ceasefire in south-western Syria appears to be the first such cooperative measure between Moscow and Washington. Turkey, whose forces have illegally invaded and occupied Syria from the beginning of the conflict, was brought into a similar peace process when it joined Syria’s partners Russia and Iran as a member of the Astana Group.

The US will almost certainly not compensate Syria for its loses, but the letter nevertheless is now a matter of public record which crucially details America’s war crimes in Syria.

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