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U.S. Armed Forces Reportedly Collaborated with Russian and Syrian Military in Battle for Palmyra

March 5, 2017 (EIRNS)—U.S. Armed Forces reportedly collaborated with Russia and Syria in critical military operations resulting in the March 2 re-taking of the city of Palmyra, the first such collaboration in the six-year Syria war. This appears to be a step beyond the de-confliction efforts of the U.S. and Russian military, to prevent nations’ aircraft and ground forces from attacking one another.

Al Masdar News service reported March 4, in an article entitled, "U.S. Air Force Aids Syrian Army, Russian Military to Liberate Palmyra," that:

"For the first time during this six year long Syrian Conflict, the U.S. and Russian air forces coordinated to aid the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) in their quest to liberate Palmyra (Tadmur) from the Islamic State terrorist organization."

During the past two weeks, U.S. warplanes conducted several raids over the eastern countryside of Palmyra, hitting a large number of Islamic State targets along the Sukhanah-Palmyra Road. The U.S. airstrikes in east Palmyra were significant in helping the Syrian Arab Army and Russian military retake the city by cutting off a vital ISIS supply route.

Noted Al Masdar,

"Both the Russian and U.S. commands have yet to comment on their coordination above the skies of ancient Palmyra; however, there has been some acknowledgment from local activists on both sides."

Reflecting this perspective, Washington Post reporter Liz Sly headlined her March 2 article, "Hezbollah, Russia and the U.S. Help Syria Retake Palmyra." Sly states that the U.S., Russia and Syria demur when asked about such collaboration, but then reported similarly,

"During the last 10 days of February, the U.S. military conducted 23 strikes [in Palmyra] against Islamic State fighting units, tanks, storage facilities and command centers."

It would appear that the same strain of collaboration among Russia, and the U.S. (and with Turkey and Syria)—although not yet confirmed—was as well involved in the March 2 agreement by which the Syrian Army peacefully took over the occupation and administration of the city of Manbij, from the U.S.-backed Syrian-Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), which had previously occupied the city.