Syrian bishop: Russian raids have proved effective against ISIL. U.S. operations are "just window dressing". (AN).
US air strikes in Syria are window-dressing, and have little real effect on the militias of the Islamic state (IS), who are left free to act on the ground. Instead the Russian attacks in recent days have been effective, forcing jihadists to fall back towards the Iraqi desert. This is according to Msgr. Jacques Behnan Hindo, referring to testimonies of people living in areas of conflict theater.
"Moscow’s intervention has been positive - said the prelate who leads the archieparchy Syrian Catholic Hassaké-Nisibis, - because they are really targeting Daesh [Arabic acronym for the IS, ed] and the militia are beginning to flee. They fled from the area in about 20 cars in a hurry in the direction of Iraq, leaving another 20 cars on site. A sign of a real retreat. "
The bishop of Hassaké-Nisibi lives under constant threat from IS: "I am less than three kilometers from the town - he says - a month ago their offensive was repelled and they folded around the city. In the past two weeks, thanks to the attacks of the Russians, they began to retreat. "
In contrast, Msgr. Hindo reserves rather harsh words for the United States, who are not bombing the positions of jihadi militias but the Syrian government.
"It's not about being for or against the government - he says - but people never believed in America’s attacks. Only the Kurds have really fought on the ground, but to hold their ground "and it is not plausible that they can, alone, solve the emergency.Besides the United States, France, Britain only speak of "attacking the Daesh, but do not speak of the Nusra Front and other Islamist militias linked to Al Qaeda. Indeed, there are extremist groups that have changed names to rebuild credibility, and these are not even mentioned. This is also a big problem. "
The prelate denounces Washington's "ambiguity" seen in the American’s attitude during the seizure of hundreds of Christians originating in the villages of the valley of the river Khabur.
"On the night of Feb. 23, when Daesh attacked, the American planes – he says - flew over the area for a long time without intervening. Then for three days we saw no more jets, leaving the field open to the militants. This makes us think that in some way have been helped by the Americans and their ambiguous attitude”.