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The Airstrike that Didn’t Take Place - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Unfortunately, the only right action the U.S. took in Syria throughout the past five years was a mistargeted airstrike. U.S. jets struck the regime’s military sites in Deir Ezzor for the first time.

Although Russian forces attacked, more than once, Syrian opposition sites and did not justify or apologize, Washington, on the other hand, did admit and apologize.

If the U.S. forces had continued to target Assad’s forces intentionally or by mistake, the regime would have showed more interest in negotiations and peaceful solutions that might end this tragedy. However, the lack of balance in the face of Iran and Russia –supporters of the Assad regime- has led to the persistence of war. The lack of balance also gave birth to ISIS and propped the Syrian regime’s rejection of any solution that doesn’t grant it full control over the country.

Before the first airstrike that targeted them, regime forces were in full control of the Syrian airspace during the five-year-old war.

Yet, a question arises: Is it true that the airstrike was intentional, according to media rumors? The answer is: Absolutely not, because the Americans would have justified their action in a different way or even blamed the regime forces or the Russians. Washington, however, admitted its mistake which was a result of poor coordination.

Since Moscow joined the war in Syria, Washington has been showing keenness to avoid clashes between the U.S.-led coalition forces and Assad regime allies.

On the Syrian territories, the Americans, Russians and Turks agree that there is one enemy: ISIS. Russians are known for their steady huge military presence on the ground beside the Iranian and Syrian forces against the Syrian opposition, which continues to amaze the world with its resistance.

The Syrian opposition prevented Assad’s forces, Iranians and Russians from achieving their plan, which is to end the crisis by raging their war collectively. They failed, although they besieged the Free Syrian Army (FSA) in several areas.

The U.S. raid on Assad’s forces might motivate Russians to coordinate more in order to avoid similar mistakes. It is also possible that the Russians will exploit this in an adverse way through downsizing the U.S. military presence in the Syrian airspace.

U.S. President Barack Obama’s tenure is almost over; the time is ticking and new ideas for a political solution must be suggested following the latest negotiations between Washington and Moscow.

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed is the former general manager of Al-Arabiya television. He is also the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat, and the leading Arabic weekly magazine Al-Majalla. He is also a senior columnist in the daily newspapers Al-Madina and Al-Bilad. He has a US post-graduate degree in mass communications, and has been a guest on many TV current affairs programs. He is currently based in Dubai.

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