LATAKIA, Syria – A US reconnaissance aviation group has carried out an operation near the Russian airbase of Hmeymim in Syria, which violates the memorandum signed between the US and Russia in 2015.
According to the Zvezda network, which cites a source familiar with the situation, the incident occurred on Tuesday. The reconnaissance operation was carried out by the U-2S aircraft, the RC-135 radioelectronic intelligence aircraft and the Poseidon P-8A anti-submarine aircraft.
This operation violates the agreement between the two countries’ defenses, signed in 2015, to avoid air incidents and ensure the safety of flights during operations in Syria.
According to the additional protocol to this document, US aviation can not approach the Russian base of Hmeymim within 60 kilometers. In addition, American aircraft do not have the right to approach the Tartus base within 50 kilometers.
As of June 4 of this year, this 2015 agreement has never been violated, Zvezda says. According to the network source, this US air operation could aim to study the air defense systems of Syria and Russia to prepare missile attacks against Syria.
Meanwhile, Senator Richard Black of Virginia said the war in Syria could end very quickly if the US withdraws its troops.
Black said Damascus could have ended the war if Washington and its allies had not intervened and built bases in northeastern Syria and Al-Tanfa in the south.
The US senator criticized the proposed talks to revise the Syrian constitution, stressing that it guarantees freedom of religion, women’s rights and the rule of law. In addition, he also praised the role of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in the negotiations over Syria, calling him a “sophisticated man.”
In December 2018, US President Donald Trump announced the withdrawal of troops from Syria, whose total number was estimated at 2,000 soldiers, later announcing that about 400 US military would remain in the country, and by the end of 2017 had already been announced that the terrorist group Daesh [ISIS] had been defeated.
The US and its allies have been conducting an operation in Syria without the consent of the country’s official authorities since 2014 against terrorist groups operating in Syria.