For the first time, Syrian planes attacked Kurdish targets in Hasakah, and were outflanked by U.S. planes, while Israel bombed Syrian targets
In the Syrian conflict, the rapprochement between Ankara and Moscow has caused previously deadlocked structures to falter. Ankara made a U-turn and now seems to want to cooperate with the Assad government and respect Assad as interim president. So far a taboo subject.
With the new alliance of Ankara, Moscow, Tehran and Damascus (Tehran-Ankara-Damascus: Unholy Alliance), China has apparently also decided to abandon its previous restraint and to support the Assad government. The Chinese military wants to train the Syrian and provide humanitarian aid. Allegedly it is about demanding a political slogan. One may ame that energy-hungry China also wants to establish itself geostrategically in the Middle East.
YPG fighters in Hasakah.
This puts the U.S.’s fragile anti-IS alliance in even more of a bind, because in addition to Russia, the U.S. is also in a permanent conflict with China. While China seeks to secure its control off the coast, thus fueling territorial conflict with U.S.-backed neighbors, the U.S. seeks to isolate China just as it does Russia. China now sees itself as a world power, just as Russia does, and now seems willing to assert itself in the Middle East, just as Russia did.
Dispute between Tehran and Moscow?
Meanwhile, a dispute seems to have arisen between Russia and Iran. On 16. August, the Russian military had for the first time temporarily used an Iranian airbase to fly long-range bombers from there to attack Syrian targets. Besides Iran, Iraq has also opened the airspace for Russian military flights. This was a clear sign that Russia can expand its regional influence over Syria, possibly also with a view to Turkey, where the Incirlik airbase is possibly becoming less secure for the alliance led by the USA and especially for the US nuclear bombs stationed there with Ankara’s rapprochement with Moscow, but also with the failed coup and the terrorist attacks, to which IS has not claimed responsibility.
Yesterday, the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced, presumably in an aggravated manner, that Russia was no longer using the Hamadan base and that the Russians had left. Tehran did not like the fact that Moscow wanted to play out its strength in such a way and staged the use of it in the media. The regional power probably felt duped by the rude power gesture. General Deghan was asked yesterday why Russia announced the use of the base but Iran did not: "The Russians are interested", replied the huffy general, "To show that they are a rough power in order to guarantee their influence on the political future of Syria. Of course it was a demonstration and not a gentlemanly gesture." Russia wanted to bring more aircraft into the region and increase the speed and accuracy of attacks, according to Deghan. Therefore, they had to refuel planes closer to the area of operation: "But we certainly did not give them a military base."
In addition, Russia and Iran are at loggerheads because Russia has not yet delivered the full S-300 air defense systems that Iran had ordered primarily to defend against possible Israeli attacks. Russian state media play down the matter and explain that the withdrawal of the Russian planes was unilaterally due to a decision by Moscow. Russian aircraft had fulfilled all tasks during their two-day mission, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said. Tehran reportedly to continue to let Russian military use facilities.
The sufferers of the new alliances could be the Kurds. Already last week, the Syrian air force flew its first attacks on Kurdish fighters in the divided city of Hasakah, where the YPG managed to capture several neighborhoods after battles with the Syrian army and militias linked to it. Russia negotiated a ceasefire between the Kurds and the Syrian army on Sunday, but the latter accused the YPG of violating it on Monday. The YPG, in turn, accused the Syrian army of starting the fighting last Wednesday. According to the YPG, most of the soldiers had surrendered to the Syrian army, but the Iranian Hezbollah militia continued to fight.
YPG fighters in Hasakah.