Twice in the past week, most recently at a Pentagon briefing on Monday, US officials made comments essentially threatening to shoot down Russian or Syrian jets.
“We are going to defend our people on the ground, and do what we need to defend them,” Pentagon spokesperson Peter Cook told reporters after Syrian jets attacked Kurdish forces near Hasakah.
Though insisting that “it’s not a no-fly zone,” Cook stated that “the Syrian regime would be wise to avoid areas where coalition forces have been operating.”
When asked about Russia, Cook said the US would also do the same with Russian jets, which have been striking ISIS targets in Syria at the country’s request since last year.
“If they threaten US forces, we always have the right to defend our forces,” Cook said.
The Syrian news agency SANA charged that Kurdish YPG fighters, in violation of a truce, had broken into government offices in Hasakah. One would think that the government would have a right to defend public buildings from depredations by an armed group operating within the country’s sovereign boundaries, but apparently the US disagrees.
US military officer Scott Bennett, in remarks to Press TV, says the US has now issued what essentially amounts to a declaration of war against Russia and Syria.