Shot down Syrian Su-22 became an interest of the American Republicans

Author : Georgiy Kuhaleyshvili

Su-22 incident is beneficial to that part of American politicians that expects Donald Trump to take more stringent actions against Russia
23:21, 22 June 2017

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The other day the US F / A-18E deck-fighter has shot down the Su-22 bomber of Syrian government troops. The Syrian aircraft dropped bombs on positions controlled by the "Syrian Democratic Forces" in Ji-Din. According to the statement published on the website of the US Navy, the Syrian Su-22 was shot down in accordance with the rules of participation and collective self-defense of partners of the antiterrorist coalition. In response to the downed Syrian plane, Russia suspended the memorandum of safety in Syria between the Russian Federation and the United States from 2015, which provides for round-the-clock communication to prevent incidents. The Russian side has already suspended the operation of this memorandum, after the US destroyed the military airfield Shayrat, controlled by Damascus, with cruise missiles Tomahawk. The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation announced its intention to "accept any airplanes and unmanned aircraft for escorted by air defense systems in the areas where the Russian Federation's military missions are being carried out in Syria. Russian media prove that the downed Syrian bomber was carrying out combat missions against ISIS.

The US military have shot down Syrian Su-22 on the eve of the G-20 summit in Hamburg, which to be held July 7-8. In early June, Kremlin spokesman Sergei Peskov reported on a possible meeting of presidents Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump and negotiations behind closed doors. It seems that the incident in the skies over Syria is a convenient occasion to add fuel to the fire of Russian-American contradictions and bring Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin to an unpleasant conversation or even break their meeting in Hamburg. The US military could once again ignore the Damascus air strike against oppositionists, as it was under former President Barack Obama. But they did not do that.

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The ruling Republican Party of the United States has disagreements about future relations with Russia. President Donald Trump and the US Secretary of State are inclined to agree with the Kremlin on cooperation in the fight against international terrorism. Tillerson has already held talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Moscow, and Trump took Russian diplomats in the White House, and shared confidential information with them about the provocations of Islamic extremists on the board of passenger aircraft. Tillerson has dealt with a plan for developing relations with Russia, which involves cooperation on "strategic issues", including the settlement of the military conflict in Syria, the solution of the North Korean nuclear problem and cooperation in the field of cybersecurity. The plan is aimed at achieving stability in the relations between Russia and the United States.

Most of the senators from the Republican and Democratic parties do not share the attempts of the Trump administration to achieve normalization of relations with Russia. It is impossible to reach an agreement with the Kremlin without surrendering one's own interests, as evidenced by the bitter experience of the "reset policy" of US-Russian relations between former President Barack Obama. Republican Senator Bob Corker, chairman of the International Relations Committee, is convinced that in response to Russia's continuing aggressive actions in Ukraine, Syria, the Kremlin's interference in the presidential campaign should tighten the current anti-Russian sanctions. Democratic senator Ben Cardin believes that Russia would not change its behavior in the near future. Long before the arrival of Donald Trump, Republican Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham proposed acting solely in cooperation with Middle Eastern states and deploying in Syria a 100,000-strong armed contingent from the US armed forces and their regional allies to combat ISIS without Russia's participation. Both senators support the removal of Bashar Assad from the presidential post and the transfer of power in Syria to the opposition.

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Some representatives of the current administration do not share the approach of Donald Trump and Rex Tillerson to Russia. Defense Secretary James Mattis, retired Marine General, was cool about the idea of rapprochement with Russia even before his appointment. In his opinion, the threat from Russia was underestimated by the administration of Barack Obama. Mattis believes the Assad regime, backed by Russia, is responsible for the use of chemical weapons against the opposition. The Minister is convinced that in addition to combating ISIS, the US must take "additional actions" in Syria in the event of the use of chemical weapons. He cautiously reacted to Russia's proposal to create no-fly security zones in Syria, believing that first we need to make sure of the "working capacity" of the Russian initiative. Vice President Michael Pence is a cool partner for rapprochement with the Russian Federation. During the campaign, he said that the Russian leadership has no right to dictate its terms to the United States, and Russia's provocations must be met with American power. Pence said that the US should be ready to use military force to attack the military facilities of the Assad regime.

The Su-22 incident is beneficial to that part of American politicians who expects Donald Trump to take more stringent actions against Russia. Republican Senators and Democrats can use Russia's reaction to a downed Syrian bomber as an additional argument to justify the need to tighten anti-Russian sanctions. The day before, most of the senators approved a draft law on counteracting Russian influence in Europe and Eurasia, which involves tightening sanctions against Russia, extending restrictive measures to the oil and gas sector, and prohibiting foreign financing for the construction of new Russian gas pipelines. Senator John McCain called Russia's reaction outrageous. He believes that the US should take the necessary steps to protect its military personnel and partners.

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In the US and Europe, there is a common point of view that Russia threatens to use military force against the US military for a downed Syrian bomber. The New York Post and DieWelt took Russia's intention to accept US aircraft for escorting air defense as a threat to US servicemen. In the information campaign, the FoxNews media company, which has the reputation of being the mouthpiece of the Republican Party, also participates. FoxNews published material in which US defense officials shared their views on the tough reaction from the Russian Federation to the downed Su-22. Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis is convinced that US military pilots should not abstain from self-defense in the event of a threat from the Russian side. A spokesman for the US Department of Defense, Major Adrian Rankin-Holloway said that the air forces of the anti-terrorist coalition intend to continue operations throughout Syria, to air strike against the positions of the ISIS and to provide cover from the air to their partners.

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Republicans may try to convince members of the US House of Representatives and President Donald Trump to approve a bill toughening anti-Russian sanctions, citing the fact that Russia poses a threat to the life and security of the US military by its actions in Syria. The threat of force requires reciprocal steps on the part of the United States. The protection of American citizens is one of the national interests and a powerful argument for demanding that the White House strengthen its pressure on Russia. If Donald Trump will soon shy away from tightening anti-Russian sanctions and demonstrate to Vladimir Putin and other Russian officials his intention to agree on cooperation, then the credibility of the president will begin to disappear not only among the party members, but also among the US military - the traditional electorate of the Republican Party.

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The downed Syrian Su-22 is a muscle game and an illustrative example of what the US is ready to do to protect its interests. This military action is an addition to the bill "On Counteracting Russian Influence in Europe and Eurasia" on the eve of the G20 summit in Hamburg. The US military and senators let the Russian leadership understand that if Russia continues to impose its line in regions where the US has its own interests, then its leadership and the military will face a stiff rebuff, even if the Oval Office does not agree with this.

The American public has another reason to urge Donald Trump to more actively contribute to the investigation of Russia's interference in the presidential campaign and forcing Russia to keep peace in Ukraine and Syria. US politicians and the military want Trump to finally let Putin know that tough people have come to power in the US who do not intend to turn a blind eye to the provocations of the Kremlin.

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