By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Wednesday, US Representative Bradley Byrne (R-Montrose) expressed concerns about events in war torn Syria and Russia’s role in the conflict.
Congressman Byrne said, “I am deeply troubled by what is happening in Syria. For decades, the United States has worked to prevent Russia from gaining major influence in the Middle East. Now, due to the lack of US leadership, Russia has taken hold of power and influence in a very volatile part of the world. This should be concerning for every American interested in peace and stability.”
Rep. Byrne referenced a story by ‘The Christian Science Monitor.’
Last month it appeared that a ceasefire would be negotiated. Those efforts failed and on September 20, the Syrian Government and Russia launched a joint offensive on the rebellion that the Obama Administration has been backing for over four years.
Russia and the Assad led Syrian government are bombarding Syrian rebel held sections of Aleppo.
On Monday, the Obama Administration ended the fruitless peace negotiations.
There are media reports that the US might attack Syrian Army positions to relieve the pressure on Aleppo. Russian aircraft are supporting the Syrian Army and Russians are on the ground supporting Syrian Army units.
Responding to those reports, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said that any US air strikes on areas controlled by Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government could jeopardize the lives of Russian servicemen.
Konashenkov said, .“I would recommend our colleagues in Washington to carefully weigh possible consequences of the fulfillment of such plans.”
Konashenkov warned that Russian S-300 and S-400 surface to air missiles would fire on aircraft attacking the Syrian Army.
Konashenkov said, “It must be understood that Russian air defense missile crews will unlikely have time to clarify via the hotline the exact flight program of the missiles or the ownership of their carriers.”
On Wednesday White House spokesman Josh Earnest said that satellite imagery released by the United Nations: “Illustrating the terrible impact of the bombing campaign of the Syrians and the Russians tragically is not particularly surprising. There are a wide variety of anecdotal reports of cluster munitions, bunker busters, bunker buster bombs, and other incendiary explosive devices that are taking an extraordinary toll on the civilian population in Aleppo. The widespread reports of the children that have been killed in Aleppo just in the last few weeks are gut-wrenching, to say nothing of the innocent men and women who have been killed in those military operations.”
Earnest said, “Ordinarily, you would be heartbroken to learn that this was the result of some sort of accident. But it’s clear that the Syrian regime, backed by the Russians, is engaged in a strategy of bombing those civilians intentionally to try to get them to bend to the will of the Assad regime. They are seeking to drive those innocent civilians out of their homes and out of their communities to accomplish a military and political objective. It’s why the United States has supported a range of diplomatic efforts, including at the UN, to ensure that those who are responsible for these actions are held accountable.”
Both of the superpowers are in Syria, supposedly fighting ISIS and terrorism; but in reality the Russians are supporting the Assad government and the US is supporting anti-Assad rebels. The Kurds also have forces in the country as do anti-Assad Turkish rebels. Turkey has already shot down one Russian plane that was striking their proxy rebels.
The Syrian Civil War has been going on for five years now and does not appear to be concluding any time soon.
Congressman Bradley Byrne represents Alabama’s First Congressional District.
Original reporting by Fox News, the Christian Science Monitor, and CBS news contributed to this report.