The Pentagon chief’s warning of grim consequences for Moscow over its military campaign in Syria is not merely “chest thumping” and may be a prelude to a “frightening” military confrontation, says an American analyst and radio host in New York.
“One hopes that Ashton Carter is only thumping his chest, hoping to either back the Russians down or in any event look tough in front of the American electorate because of the recent moves by Russia,” Don DeBar said Friday.
“It is hard to feel confident that it is only chest thumping and not an indication of escalation planned by the United States including — either by proxy or directly– attacks on Russian aircraft and military assets in Syria,” he added.
DeBar made the comments in reaction to remarks by US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter, who has warned Russia over its air strikes against Daesh (ISIL) in Syria.
In a meeting with NATO defense ministers on Thursday, Carter warned Russians that their campaign against Daesh “will have consequences for Russia itself, which is rightly fearful of attacks.”
“In the coming days, the Russians will begin to suffer from casualties,” the Pentagon chief claimed.
“They [Russians] have shot cruise missiles from a ship in the Caspian Sea without warning; they have come within just a few miles of one of our unmanned aerial vehicles,” he said.
The military forces of the US and Russia experienced a close encounter on Thursday, when American fighter jets were forced to reroute in order to maintain a safe distance from the Russian warplanes.
DeBar told Press TV that a military confrontation between Moscow and Washington would have been hard to even perceive a few years ago, but conditions have changed and there is “an actual threat of a faceoff between US military assets against Russian military assets in Syria.”
“That is a very frightening prospect because the possibility of escalation is obvious and the United States and NATO appear to be preparing for it,” the analyst said.
Meanwhile, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov dismissed Carter’s warnings as “cynical.”
According to the Russian Defense Ministry, Moscow has struck more than 100 Takfiri targets in Syria since launching its airstrikes campaign in the Arab country on September 30.
Russian warships in the Caspian Sea also began to launch cruise missiles into Syria on Wednesday, firing 26 missiles against 11 militant targets.
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