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US strike in Syria aimed to protect militants: Analyst

An F/A-18F Super Hornet lands on the US navy's super carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower in the Mediterranean Sea on July 6, 2016. (Photo by AFP)

Press TV has conducted an interview with Michael Maloof, a former Pentagon official, to discuss US-led coalition airstrikes on army positions near a military airport in Syria.

Here is a rough transcription of the interview:

Press TV: Your thoughts on the allegations against the US-led coalition. The support for terrorists have been echoed numerous times and now the Russians and Damascus are saying here is the proof.

Maloof: Well they are not really giving the Syrian army any assistance. They went hit and bombed them at an air base and then allowed Daesh forces to move on in and take over some of the area. It tells me that first of all lack of and poor intelligence, very poor intelligence especially with any air strike and it was in a close proximity area and it tells me too that the United States is trying to assist its so-called moderate forces who for the most part are part and parcel of al-Nusra, ISIS and other Jihadi Salafist groups. So there is an argument that can be made that this was to protect them against the Syrian army. I think that is a possibility.

Whether this will have an impact on future Russian-US cooperation that remains to be seen. I would hope that they can continue. It is my understanding that once the United States was informed, once Pentagon was informed that they were bombing Syrian troops, they stopped it. So that was a suggestion to me at least that there might have been some poor intelligence on the ground.

We have special forces in the area, they are supposed to be guiding these air craft and the battlefield is moving very, very rapidly but I think they were ultimately trying to protect their own moderate forces which they do not really have any control over frankly and many of them of course are part of al-Nusra and ISIS.  

Press TV: It seems the timing is really kind of suspicious here. You have Moscow and Damascus under that ceasefire. They agreed to ground their fighter jets. How conducive is it for that ceasefire to have the US and its allies up in the air and carrying out these bombings and alluding to what you said with inferior intelligence on the ground, they have no coordination with Russia and Damascus which have the best intelligence in Syria and yet they are in the air when the other side has agreed to ground their jets, your thoughts on that?

Maloof: Well that is one of the questions that has arisen. Was there any prior US informing of the Russians that they were going to be bombing in that area and was there any exchange of intelligence? That remains unanswered yet. I think that is probably one thing that is going to have to be investigated and I think the Pentagon is going to probably launch an investigation, I would hope, but clearly there should have been better coordination.


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