US Bombs Syrian Army Base in Deir Ezzor, Killing 83 Troops

ISIS Overruns Area, Threatens Key Airport After US Blunder

In what could prove to be the single biggest blunder of the entire US war in Syria, US warplanes today attacked a Syrian army base in the Jebel Tharda area on Deir Ezzor Province, in the ISIS-dominated eastern portion of the country, killing at least 83 Syrian soldiers and wounding 120 others.

Pentagon officials claimed they thought the site was “an ISIS tank position,” and admitted to not giving Russia a precise location before the attacks. Russian officials slammed the US over that, saying it underscored the Pentagon’s “stubborn refusal” to coordinate actions properly.

US warplanes killing 83 Syrian troops during a ceasefire may not be the worst of the story, incredibly enough. Those troops had been defending the area from ISIS, who quickly overran what was left of the base’s defenses, and are now even closer to the Deir Ezzor airport.

The airport has been one of the last major government holdouts in the Deir Ezzor capital, and at times the Syrian warplanes flying out of the airport were the only thing keeping ISIS from overrunning the entire eastern half of the country. The US airstrikes seriously softened up the defenses in the area, and might finally do what years of ISIS offensives couldn’t, put ISIS in control of the airport.

US officials expressed “regret” over the killing of the Syrian troops, but condemned Russia for requesting an emergency UN Security Council meeting, saying that the Russians “had blood on their hands” from the war themselves and wasn’t in a position to criticize the US botches.

According to Centcom, the Syrian troops were all “out in the open” at the base, and they also destroyed six military APCs and one tank. They reported they were “watching” the Syrian Army base for days before the attacks, figuring everyone there was ISIS.

Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.

  • Teller

    The Kerry – USAF 1-2 punch ….

    First, Kerry insists that the planes that have been ‘only things keeping the eastern half of the country’ from being overrun by ISIS must be grounded as a part of the cease-fire.

    Then, the USAF launches an effective strike on the base.

    Then, ISIS just happens to attack this key location.

    And, we are supposed to believe that this base that was a last holdout in the area against ISIS (and thus obviously been used by the Syrian Army for quite some time), and which apparently just happened to be guarding a key air base, was accidentally believed to be held by ISIS by the people who have satellites and various radars tracking every Syrian plane that had been flying from the base.

    That’s more unbelievable than when they said they’d bombed a hospital for a full hour even after the doctors started calling to tell them they were bombing a hospital.

    Well, this is only story number one. They used at least seven after the hospital rain of death, so maybe one of the next six or so to come might sound more believeable.

    • TellTheTruth-2

      At least MOST people who come to anti-war know the truth. It’s a shame EVERY ONE in the USA doesn’t visit this site.

  • richardstevenhack

    This is just the latest attempt by Obama to start a war with Syria. Early on, he had insurgents fire at Turkey to which Turkey responded by firing at Syrian troops to try to get Syria to respond. But Assad didn’t take the bait. Then they tried the EXACT same tactic with Israel. They just did it again the other week. And Israel has repeatedly attacked Syrian and Hizballah forces inside Syria.

    All of this is an attempt to get a war started with Syria. People who think Obama is “reluctant” simply can’t comprehend that he wants a war with Syria by the “back door” where he can’t be BLAMED for INITIATING it.

    As I’ve pointed out a hundred times, the ENTIRE purpose of the Syria crisis is to degrade Syria’s military sufficiently that they 1) can’t be an effective force against Israel in an Iran war, and 2) can’t be an effective force against Israel when Israel attacks Hizballah in the Bekaa Valley via Syrian territory.

    Once Syria and Hizballah’s military capability have been degraded, Israel will attack Iran, and the US will join in. This has been the plan from Day One and it is STILL the plan.

    • disqus_feN63FpcdG

      As long as the russians are there, it ain’t happening.

  • survivor

    lol, this wasn’t no accident. This was Obama testing the waters and wants nothing more than Assad out of power in order to fulfill his masters wishes in Saudi Arabia. The establishment made no bones about their intentions of what they wanted to do. Just listen to Michael Morell’s interview with Charlie Rose.

    • disqus_feN63FpcdG

      You mean his masters in Israel

  • Really? Jason Ditz really thinks this was a “blunder” and not a deliberate attempt by the blood soaked war criminal Barack Hussein Obama to help his ISIS proxies? Is Ditz’ surname indicative of his mental powers?

    • Constumacious

      Exactly. Obama is using ISIS and Al Nusrah as proxies. They are former Baathists – Sunnis which were displaced when Bush II installed the Shiites in Iraq, ISIS and Al Nusrah are willing to do the dirty work becuase their sponsor – Saudi Arabia- wants to replace Assad, a shiite, with a Sunni puppet.

  • wootendw

    “…single biggest blunder…”

    I doubt if it was a blunder. If this was not done with the approval of Obama, then it was rogue attack which would mean Central Command is ignoring the Commander-in-Chief. This is an extremely dangerous situation. Syria has the right to attack US forces now. Neither they nor the Russians will dare do so, of course, especially right before an election.

    What needs to happen is for China to get involved. I’m against intervention but the regime in Washington has to be stopped. Defeating the ISIS/US-rebel/alQaida coalition will require ground forces in addition to, or in lieu of, aerial bombings. China has the manpower to send in a large infantry. They can clean out the mess without fear of the US moving in on them.

    • TellTheTruth-2

      Russia is in Syria at the invitation of the Syrian Government and the USA is akin to a CRIMINAL ENTERPRISE that is invading their country. How long before we eliminate the US Ziocon war mongers that are causing all the problems in the world today?

  • Ricardo Cabeza

    It is also no coincidence that an explosion was set off in NYC to distract US sheeple from the fact that their government just attempted to provoke World War 3.

  • rybo1

    The US intentions are nothing but continuous evil.

    • EAGLE

      Wow Russia and Syria have been bombing and gassing the Syrian people for years now targeting people in shopping districts and bombing hospitals in rebel held areas where’s the outrage people??? O…this is Anti- America I mean antiwar.com nobody likes there country on this website I forgot…Well world now you see it for yourselves a small dose of American firepower exposed Russia just like we thought.Ask yourselves Syraian regime Iran and Hezbollah do you really think Russia would kill Americans shoot one of our jets out of the sky risking a war with a NUCLEAR SUPER POWER and NATO for y’all risk it’s country for you…Hell truth be told they won’t even risk it on there borders when we’re flying our NATO missions on there doorsteps…I predict aid will start flowing in soon and that joint strike task force will start soon…Nothing like a small taste of good ole American firepower to get you’re minds right….USA

      • TellTheTruth-2

        Get real .. the damn Ziocon war mongers WANT a war with Russia.

  • Basil McDonnell

    The Russians point out there’s a really, really big question mark about this air strike that makes the story very, very suspicious.

    The claim is that the US was trying to hit ISIS fighters facing the Syrian Army.

    But the US has never attacked ISIS in areas where it faces the Syrian Army. That would be helping the Syrian army. For all the years they’ve been bombing, the US has never done that. They’ve stayed scrupulously away from ever hitting ISIS in a location that would aid the Syrian army.

    Why would they start now?

  • Contumacious

    The US attack was not a blunder.

    The Obama Administration is doing everything in its power to (1) allow Israel to retain the Golan Heights (2) prevent Syria from retaliating against Israel when the latter attacks Iran (3) making Israel the onloy powerhouse in the middle east.

    The Obama administration is using ISIS and Al Nusrah as ground troops.

    For shame,

    • TellTheTruth-2

      Exactly .. THE GREATER ISRAEL PROJECT in action.

  • lordbaldric

    USA not even bothering to hide their pro-ISIS affiliation these days to anyone paying remote attention…

    • TellTheTruth-2

      ISIS is the CIA …

  • Tuyzentfloot

    This is a highly suspicious incident, not just because it seems intent to sabotage the ceasefire, but also because it suggests the US president is not in control of the chain of command and people high up are doing their own thing. You don’t want this kind of insubordination when you have NATO encroaching on Russian borders and things get tense.

  • wbilct

    “US officials expressed “regret” over the killing of the Syrian troops, but condemned Russia for requesting an emergency UN Security Council meeting, saying that the Russians “had blood on their hands” from the war themselves and wasn’t in a position to criticize the US botches.”

    S. Powers said that calling the emergency UN Security Council meeting was a “stunt”. How dare the Russian Federation to criticize the US botches.

    • TellTheTruth-2

      Russia has been in Syria since the USA overthrew Iran’s Govt in 1953.

  • Peter Mo

    I am shocked at Samantha Powers “speech” at the UN. These young soldiers all trying to do their duty for their country,fighting an enemy also the enemy of the American people all no doubt with young families deserved at least some respect After all wasn’t it a “mistake”.
    When US troops are killed do Syrians get up and accuse Americans of grandstanding. After 9/11 occurred how would Americans appreciate Syrians reeling off all America’s perceived sins disregarding the dead..
    I have never heard anything like it and the sad part Antiwar.com just doesn’t want anything detracting from Clinton’s cabal of righteous women. Why haven’t Antiwar published the UK parliaments indictment of Cameron’s war on Libya led on by the likes of Samantha Power, Clinton, Rice and Obama?

    • TellTheTruth-2

      Google “dov zakheim 911” to see who really did 911.

      • jesse

        Anyone that reads knows truth about 9/11. Ones that watch Fox news still believe Saddam did it. I always mention bld. 7 which is never mentioned on news. No one has heard of it, most damning of all the evidence

        • Everyone’s heard of it.

          Not everyone agrees with your assessment of it or with the importance you perceive in it.

  • RD1485

    The Pentagon knows Russia is waiting to see if Trump wins, and Russia will not be coerced into war with the election 50 days away, Russia also has her own Duma elections today. Therefore the Pentagon sees this as a window of opportunity to expand operations without repurcussions. It’s up to Obama and Kerry to control the Pentagon, as Vitaly Churkin said at the U.N.

    • EAGLE

      Thanks for the insight very interesting

  • TellTheTruth-2

    Blunder? Nope! On purpose .. protecting ISIS. If we want to defeat ISIS, we need to eliminate the CIA and the thugs that run it.

  • jesse

    I just can’t believe it was a mistake with all the cameras and drones we have

  • disqus_feN63FpcdG

    Blunder? This was done on purpose. FOR ISRAEL.

  • bsmith

    Ditz why are you shilling by calling this a “blunder”?

    A moment’s thought will easily establish that “quickly overrun” means ISIS had massed forces ready and waiting to exploit the airstrike.

    If ISIS had any fear of being the ones bombed they would not have massed forces.

    The known facts, logic, past history, and political analysis of how Israeli interests are being served by American forces in this situation all indicate that it was a plan not a blunder.

    Maybe it would not be justified to leap to calling it an “evil treacherous planned betrayal” but one would be fully justified to call it very suspicious indeed.

    And one would entirely unjustified in labeling it a “blunder”.

    (Just move along, nothing to see here, eh?)

  • Yonatan

    This was an accident in exactly the same way the Israel action against the USS Liberty was an accident.

  • John Ellis

    I agree with 99% of the comments here, surely our military functions by horse-excretion politics

  • YouAreNuts

    I said this would happen on another website comment section. Didn’t even take a week for an ‘OOPS WE BOMBED YOU-MISTAKE LOLZ’ event to occur.
    I think Russia was dumb to do another COH, but I guess they have their own interests in mind.
    Fortunately they really did say ‘ISIL’s air-force’ in their rebuke, not that it will do much…

  • john

    what part of “cease fire” did the Pentagon not get?

  • Peter Mo

    The Atlantic Council videos on You Tube are revealing. Several months ago in a presentation a Council speaker actually suggested using Non US fighter planes to target the Syrian Army since RAF, Canadian, Australian planes bomb anything therefore any incident can be passed of as a mistake.