US airstrikes in Syria reportedly killed scores of army troops over the weekend threatening to derail the already fragile cease-fire agreement between Russia and the US. The cease-fire had come about after a diplomatic breakthrough and aimed to put an end to the 5 year old civil war in the country.
Americans are investigating the causes of the airstrikes in Syria that occurred on Saturday around the area of Deir el-Zour. The US aircraft seems to have mistakenly bombed government troops in the eastern part of Syria. Russians said that around 62 people died as a result of US airstrikes in Syria.
After this incident, there is renewed strain between the two sides and the cease-fire agreement that was reached only a week ago seemed to be on the verge of collapse. Even before the US airstrike in Syria, both American and Russia had been trading allegations over alleged violation of the deal.
A prominent US analyst stated that Russians can use the airstrike as an excuse for getting out of the agreement. He further stated that If Russia chooses to remain committed to the cease-fire, it could still use the incident as a kind of leverage in further dealings with the US.
Russia and the Syrian regime have been involved in several violations of the cease-fire which indicates their lack of seriousness regarding the agreement.
The Russian foreign ministry has a meeting at the United Nations Security Council after which they released a statement blaming the Americans for not coming up with a plausible explanation of the incident.
The agreement reached between the US and Russia stipulates that both of them will begin military cooperation in Syria after the cease-fire remains intact for a period of one week.
It is widely believed that the Pentagon may have reservations regarding the agreement with Russia that was negotiated by the State Department since it will involve sharing intelligence with the Russians. This is something that the top American military brass may not be comfortable with.
The recent incidents of US airstrikes in Syria have highlighted those same concerns and how they will play out on the ground. American military officials have said that they had notified their Russian counterparts in advance about the coming airstrikes in Syria.