Russia, US Talk Syria Coordination, But Spar Over Friday Airstrikes

Russia: US Never Gave Coordinates of 'Moderate' Rebels

According to the Russian Defense Ministry, a deal has been reached with the Pentagon that will expand the level of coordination between the two nations in their respective military operations in Syria, with Russia in particular pushing for a ‘shared map’ of the situation on the ground.

The deal is the result of weekend talks with the Pentagon, which has continued to loudly accuse Russia of “deliberately” attacking pro-US rebels in the Tanf border area, along the three-way border between Syria, Iraq, and Jordan.

Russian officials denied that the Friday strikes could have possibly “deliberately” targeted US allies, because the US never gave them the coordinates of any pro-US forces in the area in the first place. The area has significant ISIS and al-Qaeda presence, which Russia insists they meant to target.

They may not even have been mistaken, with the Nusra Front deeply embedded with many of the “pro-US” forces, and having been reported in some cases to have been involved in taking the Tanf crossing away from ISIS. The US has repeatedly demanding Russia stop all attacks on Nusra because the al-Qaeda affiliated is so closely embedded with the “moderates.”

Of border crossings into Iraq, Tanf is considered the least strategically important, as it links a relatively empty part of southeast Syria to a similarly empty chunk of desert in southwest Iraq.

Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.

  • richard young

    Are international law and US treaty obligations under the UN Charter no longer relevant to our “leaders” in Washington? As the US has done on many occasions in other countries, Russian military forces are in Syria at the request of the Syrian government and therefore are lawfully present in Syria; any US military forces in Syria are not only present without the request or permission of the Syrian government but are there in support of rebels seeking to overthrow the Syrian government by force and violence, and therefore are in Syria in violation of international law and the UN Charter (a binding treaty of the US since 1946). Even Antiwar.com seems not to grasp the fact that since US forces have no legal right to be in Syria against the wishes of the Syrian government, there is simply no legal basis for “negotiations” by our US Government with the Syrian or Russian governments as to “coordination” between (illegally present) US forces and (legally present) Russian forces in Syria.

    • Antiwar.com certainly grasps that there is no basis for negotiations between the US, Syria, Russian and other governments.

      Some people at Antiwar.com presumably follow the same logic you offer to reach that conclusion.

      Others among us don’t consider any of the aforementioned regimes (or the would-be regimes embodied in the groups seeking to take over Syria) “legitimate” in any way, shape, manner or form … which leads to the same conclusion.

  • Trumps

    So, Russia bombs Al-Qaida. Something that once the US would have approved. Well, maybe not the ‘russia’ part but certainly the ‘bomb al-qaida’ part.

    But nowadays, we hear what has become Al-Qaida’s Logistics and Procurement Branch, (aka, ‘the Pentagon’) complain loudly. And undoubtedly Al-Qaida’s Lead Diplomat (aka, John Kerry) will join in soon issuing loud condemnations that anyone dare to bomb the hero’s and freedom fighters of Al-Qaida. And Al-Qaida’s Diplomatic Corp (aka, ‘foggy bottom’) will call for more war, more US support for Al-Qaida, and probably for American children to die for Al-Qaida’s cause in Syria …. and Libya …. and Yemen …. and, well, these days, pretty much everywhere.

    Its really too bad that the laws against providing material support to ‘terrorists’ only apply to homeless people with low IQ’s.

  • US: We’ll be happy to discuss the possibility of acknowledging your concerns, as long as you obey us without question.