Pubblicato in: Medio Oriente, Senza categoria

Siria. Confronto Russia ed Usa. La reazione russa.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2017-04-07.

2017-04-07__Siria__9000

Le notizie sono poche, contrastanti, e confuse.

Pochi sembrerebbero essere gli elementi certi.

«U.S. officials said they informed Russian forces ahead of the missile attacks and that they took pains to avoid hitting Russian troops at the base, saying there were no strikes on sections of the base where Russians were present. But they said the administration did not seek Moscow’s approval.»

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«No Russian citizens had been hurt in the strikes»

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«The Tomahawk missiles were launched from the USS Porter and USS Ross around 0040 GMT on Friday, striking multiple targets – including the airstrip, aircraft and fuel stations – on the Shayrat Air Base»

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«Russia’s Foreign Ministry also announced that they had suspended the memorandum signed by Russia and the United States to ensure the safety of each country’s aircraft during Syrian operations »

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«Russia suspends the memorandum on the prevention of incidents and ensuring air safety during operations in Syria reached with the US,” the ministry said in a statement» [Fonte]

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Cerchiamo di enucleare gli elementi che sembrerebbero essere certi.

– Le guerre sono condotte per distruggere ed uccidere. Morire per armi chimiche oppure convenzionali non sembrerebbe fare una grande differenza. Similmente, nel corso delle guerre restano uccisi anche donne e bambini, oltre che popolazione civile.

– Il conflitto in Siria assomiglierebbe sempre più ad un confronto tra Russia ed America, pur nella sua complessità.

– I russi sembrerebbero disporre in Siria della loro migliore contraerea, verosimilmente però da utilizzarsi solo in caso di attacco alle loro basi ed ai loro aerei.

– Gli americani hanno avvisato i russi prima dell’attacco. Questo spiegherebbe la mancata risposta russa. Con questo, non che siano di accordo, ma almeno fino a tanto che si parlano si arginano le possibilità di svolte rigide.

– L’attacco americano ha colpito selettivamente obiettivi siriani, evitando con cura di colpire quelli russi, pur presenti nella base. È anche un messaggio di quanto possano essere precisi i missili cruise americani.

– Nessun “cittadino” russo è rimasto ucciso o ferito.

– La Russia ha ufficialmente sospeso le misure di prevenzione in Siria. In altri termini, sembrerebbe non essere disposta a sopportare ulteriori attacchi americani.

– L’Unione Europea sembrerebbe non essere stata minimamente contattata, al contrario del Regno Unito.

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Circa le altre notizie, sarebbe preferibile essere ancora prudenti e non riportare informazioni incontrollate. Ce ne sono in giro financo troppe.


The Moscow Times. 2017-04-07. Kremlin Slams ‘Illegal’ U.S. Attack on Syria

The Kremlin has condemned a U.S. missile strike on a government-held airbase in Syria as a “violation of international law.”

Presidential Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov slammed the attack as an “act of aggression against a sovereign nation,” designed to draw public attention away from civilian deaths in Iraq.

“Washington’s move substantially damages Russian-U.S. relations, which are already in a deplorable state,” Peskov told reporters on Friday.

“Most importantly, [Russian President Vladimir] Putin believes that this step does not bring us closer to the ultimate goal in the fight against international terrorism. On the contrary, it creates serious obstacles to efforts to forge an international coalition to fight against it and effectively counter this global evil,” Peskov said.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry also announced that they had suspended the memorandum signed by Russia and the United States to ensure the safety of each country’s aircraft during Syrian operations. 

U.S. warships launched 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at a Syria’s Al Shayrat airbase on Thursday night.  

President Donald Trump ordered the strike after a chemical weapons attack killed more than 70 civilians in the Syrian province of Idlib on Wednesday.

The United States, Britain and the EU have all blamed the attack on Syrian government forces, led by President Bashar Assad and backed by the Kremlin.

Moscow has denied that the chemical was dropped from Syrian or Russian planes, instead claiming that a Syrian airstrike had hit a “terrorist warehouse” containing an arsenal of “toxic substances.”

U.S. President Donald Trump described the attack as an “affront to humanity,” and that it had “changed his mind” regarding Syrian President Assad.

Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the UN, was even more scathing, accusing Russia of covering for Assad’s use of chemical weapons.

“Time and time again, Russia uses the same false narrative to deflect attention from their allies in Damascus,” Haley said. “Time and time again, without any factual basis, Russia attempts to place blame on others.”

Top Russian officials are already calling for a meeting of the UN Security Council following the strike, Russian news agency RIA Novost reported.

Viktor Ozerov, head of the Defense and Security on Russia’s Federation Council, told the outlet that the meeting would address the United States’ “act of aggression’ toward a UN member state.


Reuters. 2017-04-07. U.S. fires missiles at Assad airbase, escalating tensions with Russia

The United States on Friday fired dozens of cruise missiles at a Syrian airbase from which it said a deadly chemical weapons attack was launched this week, an escalation of the U.S. military role in Syria that immediately raised tension with Russia.

Just hours after U.S. President Donald Trump announced he had ordered the attack, a spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin said the strike had seriously damaged ties between Washington and Moscow.

Two U.S. warships fired 59 cruise missiles from the eastern Mediterranean Sea at the Syrian airbase controlled by the forces of President Bashar al-Assad in response to a poison gas attack in a rebel-held area on Tuesday, U.S. officials said.

Putin, a staunch ally of Assad, regarded the U.S. action as “aggression against a sovereign nation” on a “made-up pretext” and a cynical attempt to distract the world from civilian deaths in Iraq, his spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, was cited as saying by agencies.

It was the toughest direct U.S. action yet in Syria’s six-year-old civil war and leaves Trump facing his biggest foreign policy crisis since his Jan. 20 inauguration, raising the risk of confrontation with Russia and Iran, Assad’s two main military backers.

U.S. officials said they informed Russian forces ahead of the missile attacks and that they took pains to avoid hitting Russian troops at the base, saying there were no strikes on sections of the base where Russians were present. But they said the administration did not seek Moscow’s approval.

“Years of previous attempts at changing Assad’s behavior have all failed and failed very dramatically,” Trump said as he announced the attack from his Florida resort, Mar-a-Lago, where he was meeting Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Trump ordered the strikes a day after he blamed Assad for this week’s chemical attack, which killed at least 70 people, many of them children, in the Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun. The Syrian government has denied it was behind the attack.

The Tomahawk missiles were launched from the USS Porter and USS Ross around 0040 GMT on Friday, striking multiple targets – including the airstrip, aircraft and fuel stations – on the Shayrat Air Base, which the Pentagon says was used to store chemical weapons.

The attack was a “one-off,” a U.S. defense official told Reuters, meaning it was expected to be a single strike with no current plans for escalation.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the strike did not mean the wider U.S. policy on Syria had changed.

“This clearly indicates the president is willing to take decisive action when called for,” he told reporters. “I would not in any way attempt to extrapolate that to a change in our policy or our posture relative to our military activities in Syria today. There has been no change in that status.”

The attacks spurred a flight to safety in global financial markets, sending yields on safe-haven U.S. Treasury securities to their lowest since November. Stocks weakened in Asia and U.S. equity index futures slid, indicating Wall Street would open lower on Friday. Prices for oil and gold both rose, and the dollar slipped against the Japanese yen.

ARMY SAYS SIX KILLED

The Syrian army said six people were killed in the attack which led to big material losses. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least four Syrian soldiers, including a senior officer, were killed in the strikes, which almost completely destroyed the base.

“Initial indications are that this strike has severely damaged or destroyed Syrian aircraft and support infrastructure and equipment at Shayrat Airfield, reducing the Syrian government’s ability to deliver chemical weapons,” said Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis.

Syrian state TV said that “American aggression” had targeted the base with “a number of missiles” and cited a Syrian military source as saying the strike had “led to losses”.

Trump sought to cast the attack, which took place as he and Xi were wrapping up a dinner of Dover sole and dry-aged New York strip steak, as an effort to deter Syria from using chemical weapons in the future.

“Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad launched a horrible chemical weapons attack on innocent civilians,” he said later. “Tonight I ordered a targeted military strike on the airfield in Syria from where the chemical attack was launched.

“It is in this vital national security interest of the United States to prevent and deter the spread and use of deadly chemical weapons,” Trump added.

Iran, which also backs Assad, denounced the attack.

“Iran … condemns use of chemical weapons … but at the same time believes it is dangerous, destructive and violation of international laws to use it as an excuse to take unilateral actions,” Students News Agency ISNA quoted Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi as saying.

Israel welcomed the move.

“In both word and action, President Trump sent a strong and clear message today that the use and spread of chemical weapons will not be tolerated,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said in a statement.

U.S. lawmakers had a mixed reaction, with some criticizing Trump’s decision to use force without getting their approval.

“Congress will work with the president, but his failure to seek congressional approval is unlawful,” said Senator Tim Kaine, the 2016 Democratic vice presidential candidate.

The U.N. Security Council was expected to hold closed-door consultations on Friday about the U.S. strike on Syria following a request by Bolivia, an elected member of the council, a senior Security Council diplomat said.


Bbc. 2017-04-07. Syria war: US launches missile strikes in response to chemical ‘attack’

The US has carried out a missile attack against an air base in Syria in response to a suspected chemical weapons attack on a rebel-held town.

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Fifty-nine Tomahawk cruise missiles were fired from two US Navy ships in the Mediterranean, the Pentagon said.

President Donald Trump said they hit a base from which the Syrian government launched Tuesday’s chemical attack.

The Kremlin, which backs the Syria government, has condemned the US strike.

Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin, called it “an act of aggression against a sovereign nation”.

Follow our live updates

President Trump’s statement in full

The attack, at 04:40 Syrian time (01:40 GMT), comes just days after dozens of civilians, including many children, died in the suspected nerve gas attack in the town of Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib province.

Speaking from his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, Mr Trump branded Syrian President Bashar al-Assad a “dictator” who had “launched a horrible chemical weapons attack on innocent civilians”.

Mr Trump said he had acted in America’s “vital national security interest” to prevent the use of chemical weapons.

“Tonight I call on all civilised nations to join us in seeking to end this slaughter and bloodshed in Syria and also to end terrorism of all kinds and all types,” he said.

The UK government called the US strike “an appropriate response to the barbaric chemical weapons attack”.

The Pentagon said the Russian military, which supports Syrian government forces, had been informed ahead of the US action.

In a statement it said missiles fired from Navy destroyers USS Porter and USS Ross had targeted aircraft, aircraft shelters, storage areas, ammunition supply bunkers, air defence systems, and radars at Shayrat airfield in western Homs province.

The Pentagon added that the strike was intended “to deter the regime from using chemical weapons again”.

It did not give details of damage or casualties but the governor of Homs province said there had been deaths and parts of the base were on fire.

“It will take some time to determine the extent of the damage,” Talal Barazi told AFP news agency.

However, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based monitoring group, said at least four Syrian soldiers had been killed.

A White House spokesman said the site targeted by the cruise missiles “was directly linked to the horrific chemical weapons attack”.

“We assess with a high degree of confidence that the chemical weapons attack earlier this week was launched from this site by air assets under the command of the Assad regime,” the official said.

“We also assess, with a similar degree of confidence, that the Assad regime used a chemical nerve agent consistent with Sarin in these attacks.”

A statement on Syrian state TV said “American aggression” had targeted a Syrian military base with “a number of missiles” but gave no further details.

Syria ‘chemical attack’: What can forensics tell us?

Father grieves for twins killed in Syria

The US has led a coalition carrying out air strikes against jihadist groups in Syria since 2014 but this is the first time it has targeted government forces.

The latest action was welcomed by Syrian opposition group the Syrian National Coalition.

“We hope for more strikes… that these are just the beginning,” spokesman Ahmad Ramadan told AFP news agency.

President Trump had earlier warned that “something should happen” against the Syrian leadership following the deaths in Khan Sheikhoun, but gave no details.

Also on Thursday, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson signalled a sudden shift in policy by the Trump administration, saying that Bashar al-Assad should have no role in a future Syria.

Only last week the US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, said Washington was no longer prioritising the removal of the Syrian president.

The UN Security Council will hold further talks on Friday as it tries to agree a resolution calling for an investigation into the deaths in Khan Sheikhoun.

Russia has already rejected a Western-backed draft. Moscow has used its veto seven times to block UN resolutions critical of its ally Syria.

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