Russia criticizes increased U.S. military activity in Syria
The Russian Defense Ministry has expressed concern about deployment of U.S. military convoys and equipment to the al-Jazeera region in eastern Syria.
The Russian Coordination Center in Hmeimim said of the increased air and land transport of American military hardware, “such military mobilization, synchronized with the economic and social situation resulting from the US blockade damages opportunities for a political solution to the crisis in Syria.”
In response to the Pentagon’s criticism of alleged Russian violations of the conflict avoidance mechanism in Syria – meant to prevent incidents like the collision of American and Russian armored vehicles last summer in which several U.S. soldiers were injured – the Russian embassy in Washington rebuked the U.S. for having uninvited military forces in Syria in the first place. Its statement said: “We should note that the American military presence in Syria is illegitimate; therefore, the U.S. has no right to slam the legal procedures taken by Russian armed troops operating in Syria at the invitation of the government of this state.”
Pentagon involvement in the Middle Eastern nation where there are still an estimated 900 American troops, mainly under the rubric of Operation Inherent Resolve, has been in conjunction with its NATO allies Britain, Canada, France and Turkey and NATO partners and U.S. major non-NATO allies Australia and Jordan.
Syria reports that what it refers to as U.S. occupation forces continue to pillage the Tal Alou grain silos in the al-Ya’arubia area of the Hasaka countryside. Recently thirty-five trucks escorted by military vehicles crossed into northern Iraq with stolen Syrian wheat.