von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken
Dass Assads Airforce des öfteren schon als Luftwaffe des Islamischen Staates fungierte, statt ihn zu bekämpfen, ist ein offenes Geheimnis.
On Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s fighter jets rocketed an ammunition storehouse, destroying artillery, armored personnel carriers and even tanks belonging to Liwa Suqour al-Jabal, or The Mountain Eagles, a U.S.-backed brigade of the Free Syrian Army. A video uploaded by the brigade to YouTube shows the burning wreckage of the Russian airstrike, in Mansoura, in the western suburbs of Aleppo, as the local commander known as Abu Mohammed taunts his enemy: “Thank God, we are all fine,” says Abu Mohammed. “We don’t fear Russia or anyone helping the Russians. Bashar, we will remain resistant fighting you even without any ammunition or bullets. We will fight you with knives. We don’t need ammunition, Allahu Akhbar.”
The cameraman then adds that the Russians weren’t the only ones hitting the brigade yesterday. “The Russian airplanes are targeting Suqour al-Jabal’s weapon depots in Aleppo and ISIS attacked the bases with explosives at the same time.”
Hasan Hagali, the top commander for Suqour al-Jabal and a former captain in the Syrian Arab Army, explained via Skype to The Daily Beast: “Yesterday, at 5:30 p.m. a base belonging to Suqour al-Jabal was targeted in two air raids in Mansoura. In each raid, there were three Russian Mig-31 jets. That’s our main arms depot, where we supply all our units. At the same exact time—5:30 p.m.—ISIS sent a car bomb against us in Deir Jemal, against our base. This is about 130 kilometers away from Mansoura.” An earlier ISIS attack against a Suqour al-Jabal frontline position, he added, occurred in Ehres, also in western Aleppo, at around 3 o’clock. But ISIS locations in the province, no doubt equally visible from the air, were left unscathed by the Russians.