Australian Jets Participated in Massacre of Syrian Soldiers in Deir Ezzor*
By Paul Antonopoulos
Australia’s Defence Department have admitted that its jets have participated in an airstrike against Syrian Army positions near Deir Ezzor that left tens dead.
Australia has offered its condolences to the victims of the soldiers families and has announced it will fully cooperate in the review of the incident.
“Australian aircraft were among a number of international aircraft taking part in this Coalition operation,” the Defence Department said in a statement.
“Australia would never intentionally target a known Syrian military unit or actively support Daesh (ISIS). Defence offers its condolences to the families of any Syrian personnel killed or wounded in this incident.”
So blatant was the airstrike against the Syrian Army that even anti-Assad mainstream media in Australia have suggested that the airstrikes purposefully attacked their positions, supporting Russia’s claim.
Australia is one of many countries participating in the illegal US-led Coalition airstrikes in Syria that are without coordination with Damascus.
Hands Off Syria (Australia) condemns Australian military involvement in Deir ez Zorr massacre
Hands off Syria (Australia) Press Release:
Hands Off Syria strongly condemns the massacre of 62 Syrian soldiers by Australian Defence Forces. Australia’s military has admitted involvement in the U.S.-led bombing raids in Deir ez Zorr, Syria, which killed at least 62 Syrian soldiers and wounded 100 others. The soldiers were engaged in defending their country from the ISIS terrorist group.
Whether the massacre was ‘accidental’ or deliberate should be determined by an independent war crimes tribunal. Assertion by the perpetrators ‘sorry, we didn’t mean it’, is completely inadequate. Further, there are many circumstances which suggest the attack was deliberate.
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop must explain two things:
– on what legal basis have any Australian armed forces engaged in bombings on Syrian territory, without an invitation from or coordination with the Syrian Government?
– will the Australian Government hand over to the Syrian authorities or the International Court of Justice those Australians who were accomplices in this atrocity?
– to what extent does the USA share intelligence with Australian Defence Forces, when it asks Australian personnel to become involved in assassinations and bombings?
The Deir ez Zorr massacre of 17 September 2016 is material for an independent war crimes trial, and these are some of the initial questions Australian officials would have to answer.
The anonymous Defence statement (see below) is insulting in its trivialisation of the first major war crime co-authored by Australian forces in Syria.
Hands Off Syria
18 September 2016
Contact: Dr Tim Anderson. 0490 524 795
The Australian Defence Department is reported as saying:
“Australian aircraft were among a number of international aircraft taking part in this Coalition operation … Australia would never intentionally target a known Syrian military unit or actively support Daesh (IS). Defence offers its condolences to the families of any Syrian personnel killed or wounded in this incident … While Syria remains a dynamic and complex operating environment, Australia would never intentionally target a known Syrian military unit or actively support Daesh (also known as ISIL).”
Syrian Army strikes ISIS back in Deir Ezzor
Less than 24 hours after more than 80 government troops were killed in US airstrikes on Army positions in the eastern city of Deir Ezzor, Syrian fighter jets continue to pound ISIS gatherings in Jabal al-Thurdeh, to the south of the embattled city.
Earlier this day, ISIS claimed responsibility for downing a Syrian aircraft, killing its pilot.
Yesterday, ISIS jihadists managed to advance in Jabal al-Thurdeh after US airstrikes hit the Syrian forces defending the area. However, the government troops, backed by Syrian and Russian air force, regained most of the lost territories.