Today the US – backed by “moderate” Arab states like Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar and Jordan – started bombing territory in another sovereign state, Syria, without a UN Security Council resolution or a plausible argument that it is acting in self-defence. That makes it a crime of aggression, defined at Nuremberg as “the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.”
In a sign that Obama’s war on ISIS in Syria could quickly be extended into a war against Syrian president Bashar Assad, Israel downed a Syrian jet inside Syria this morning with a US-funded Patriot missile. According to Israel, the Syrian plane had passed 800 metres into its territory before heading back into Syria, during what the Israeli media say was a sortie against “rebels” operating close to the Israeli border (that’s right – the people Obama is currently bombing but whose injuries are being mended in Israeli hospitals).
Of course, we only have Israel’s word for it that the plane briefly crossed into Israeli territory, but watch to see how completely the western media will assume Israel’s story to be the only valid account.
Let’s assume for a second that Israel’s claim is true. Even the Israeli media, presumably echoing the Israeli military, believe the plane was not threatening to attack Israel in any way, and it must have been over Israeli territory for seconds, or maybe fractions of a second. But the plane was shot down in Syria because Israeli military “policy stipulates that any plane that breaches its territorial authority must be downed to avoid security risk”. Decoded, that means Syria has to be taught a lesson about who is boss. Israel, remember, has flown over Syrian and Lebanese territory on a regular basis.
The other, strong possibility is that Israel has been told by the US to help keep Syrian skies free of Syrian planes while the US goes about its business breaking international law. See how much play that gets in western media reporting.
It has been pointed out to me that actually the Haaretz article implies that when the Syrian plane reportedly crossed into “Israeli territory” it was most likely passing briefly over the Golan – that is, Syrian territory occupied by Israel since 1967.
I appreciate the correction. It exposes an additional layer of misinformation in this whole story.