For the past several years, Russia has taken the lead role in ostensibly attempting to wind down the ongoing civil war in Syria, with the most recent effort being a tenuous ceasefire agreement reached between Russian-allied Syrian government forces and opposition groups that still hold territory in the disputed Idlib province in northwestern Syria, an agreement said to be guaranteed by Russia and neighboring Turkey.
As such, Russia appears to be perplexed that it wasn’t informed by President Donald Trump’s administration prior to the launch of devastating airstrikes by U.S. forces on suspected Al-Qaeda in Syria terrorist leaders who were holed up in Idlib, strikes that Russia says could undermine and render moot the fragile ceasefire just imposed.
Reuters reported that the Russian defense ministry released a statement on Monday expressing its surprise and alarm at the unannounced American military strike against terrorists in Idlib.
“Inconsistent and contradictory steps that the United States makes in Idlib cannot but cause bewilderment and concern,” the statement said.
“On the one hand, US representatives … call for halting escalations in Idlib … On the other hand, they conduct an airstrike, which results in large-scale damage and victims,” the statement added.
As bewildered and concerned as Russia may claim to be by the airstrikes, they shouldn’t really be too surprised in light of America’s very public history of absolutely pounding Al-Qaeda wherever the jihadists pop up.
Furthermore, considering Al-Qaeda is a banned terrorist organization in Russia, they should be pleased that the terrorist leaders were taken out by a U.S. airstrike in Idlib, as the terrorists couldn’t be expected to abide by the ceasefire agreement reached between the government forces and non-jihadist opposition rebels.
Running to the U.N.
Nevertheless, Russia has expressed its displeasure at the U.S. airstrikes that commenced without a heads-up, and it was noted that Russia intends to broach the topic at the United Nations Security Council.
Russia signaled that it intends to urge the international body to consider “the consequences for civilians and civilian infrastructure” of the unannounced airstrikes and to ensure that the strikes complied with international humanitarian laws that govern the use of military force.
It is worth noting, however, that despite the perplexed cries of outrage from Russia about not being informed ahead of the airstrikes or the concerns that the strikes could undermine and render void the ceasefire agreement, the temporary cessation of combat between the warring sides has held up thus far with no real violations.
What this airstrike in Idlib by U.S. forces should prove to everyone is that, regardless of which side allegedly holds control over a particular region, President Trump and the U.S. military will stop at nothing to take out the violent jihadists who threaten America — including Al-Qaeda — and completely destroy whichever locale in which those terrorists seek safe haven.
On top of that, the airstrikes should also send a clear message to the president’s detractors here at home, particularly those who stubbornly cling to their insistence that Trump is beholden to Russia. The fact is that Trump is under the thumb of no foreign power, and he is willing to do whatever must be done to protect this nation, regardless of whether it upsets Russia or anyone else.