A top Russian general claims that the U.S. is trying to “completely destroy critical infrastructure in Syria and complicate post-war reconstruction as much as possible"
Lieutenant General Sergei Rudskoi of the Russian military's General Staff said on Tuesday that U.S.-led coalition airstrikes were intentionally targeting critical infrastructure in Syria — which could lead to major ecological and humanitarian catastrophes.
According to General Rudskoi,
[The U.S.-led coalition is] trying to “completely destroy critical infrastructure in Syria and complicate post-war reconstruction as much as possible.”
He added that US-led military aircraft had destroyed four bridges over the Euphrates River in Syria and hit the Tabqa Dam that lies 40 kilometers west of Daesh’s main stronghold of Raqqah.
Rudskoi further warned that the collapse of the dam, most commonly known as the Euphrates Dam, would create an “ecological catastrophe” and lead to “numerous” civilian deaths.
The United States denies that it targeted the dam, but evidence suggests that the control rooms as well as other parts of the dam have been completely destroyed or damaged.
To make matters worse, fighting near the dam could further exacerbate any structural damages to the site:
On Tuesday, coalition forces could be seen standing near military vehicles less than 2 km (1 mile) from the dam, their mortar rounds casually stacked nearby.
After a brief pause in fighting on Monday to allow technicians to enter the dam complex, SDF fighters resumed their operations around the structure, said spokeswoman Jihan Sheikh Ahmed.
“IS amassed its fighters and attacked our forces in the area, which forced us to respond and resume the operations to liberate the dam,” she said.
Earlier this year, the United Nations raised concern about the prospect of damage to the dam in fighting, warning that water levels — which put pressure on the structure — were already high.
On Tuesday, technicians accompanied by the Syrian Arab Red Crescent could be seen examining the dam to assess whether water levels had risen in recent days.
“The explosions and the clashes are threatening the dam, and we ask for all sides to distance themselves from it,” said Ismail Jassem, an engineer from the SDF-controlled Tishreen Dam in neighboring Aleppo province.
On top of all this, yesterday it was confirmed that the director of the dam was killed by a coalition airstrike:
On 28 March it was reported and later confirmed that Director of the Tabqa dam Ahmed Al Hussein was killed in coalition strike while trying to inspect the dam. He was filmed in ISIS video just day before.
Sounds like a recipe for disaster — or managed chaos.
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