The Age reports that: The Pentagon says it has halted an airstrike over Syria after Russia and the Syrian government accused US warplanes of responsibility for killing 60 Syrian soldiers.
In a statement, the US military’s Central Command admitted it had been carrying out a strike against a suspected Islamic State position in the eastern province of Deir al-Zour, but said it called off the assault after Russia said it was Syrian army positions that were being attacked, and not the Islamic State.
Malcolm Turnbull has acknowledged Australian warplanes were part of an ill-directed airstrike that went wrong in Syria on Saturday killing a claimed 60 Syrian government troops instead of the intended Islamic State fighters.
FA-18A Hornets from Australia’s Air Task Group
“We regret the loss of life and injury to any Syrian personnel affected,” said Mt Turnbull.
So, the Russians and the Syrians are cheerfully bombing the Syrians are not apologising to anyone. Yet when the Americans and the Australians bomb the Syrians, the Australians, at least, feel the need to offer a mild formal apology.
Now, it looks as if the strike at Jebel Tharda near Deir al-Zor airport it was a mistake. then you think, “so what?” Perhaps this is what we should have been doing all along, disabling the Syrian Air Force, perhaps by providing the Syrian rebels with enough strike power to knock down the aircraft that are killing so many Syrian civilians. It would have been a way of avoiding a large proportion of the refugee crisis.
Given the “fog of war”, we will probably never know who has been bombing who given the tangled web of conflict in the Middle East. But it does seem as if the Russians are being given a few free kicks in that they are joining in a civil war on one side and criticising anybody who joins in on the other side.
And then you have the Turkish government which is an ally of the Americans but is not attacking ISIS along with their American allies but rather attacking the Kurdish forces who are attacking ISIS.
The the Turks have every reason to fear growing Kurdish military power in the area.