Syria's great Muslim civil war - and us
- Author: Leroy Wright Jun 25, 2017,
Jun 25, 2017, 23:25
This article first appeared on the Atlantic Council site. Next target: eastern Syria (Raqqa and environs).
The truth or falsity of the accusation can best be judged by President Trump, National Security Advisor McMaster, Secretary of Defense Mattis, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Dunford. American warplanes have bombed Iranian-backed militias twice since May 18th and shot down two Iranian-made drones close to a remote garrison at Al Tanf used by American and British special forces. It inherited, after all, nothing of use from its predecessor. In the West, there was the Assad regime and in the East, there was ISIS. It has reinforced this unofficial red line with air strikes on Syrian and Iranian-backed forces in the area.
The result was a humanitarian abomination for Syrians and a foreign policy catastrophe for the West. Thus, US-supported Kurdish and Sunni Arab rebel forces are forbidden from attacking Assad's forces.
The U.S. keeps an aircraft carrier with dozens of F/A-18E fighters aboard in the Mediterranean about all the time and hundreds of F-15s and F-16s scattered around Turkey, Qatar, and Jordan.
America's plan to contain Iran thus hinges on enlisting the help of Russian Federation. "Assad believes that by seizing territory from ISIS, the United States is establishing a de facto mandate over Syrian lands that will not be relinquished" back to his authority, Mr. Heras says, adding that eastern Syria had been turned from a "far-flung battlefield" to the centre of the regime's survival strategy.Are Moscow and Washington likely to clash in Syria?
Washington severed diplomatic relations with Syria during the Obama administration, which insisted that Assad "must go".
What is the reaction of the United States and the coalition?
Iran and its proxies have already begun to shape post-ISIS Syria, and eastern Syria is the most important theater. If others, including the Syrian government and its Iranian and Russian allies, want to fight the extremists as well, then "we absolutely have no problem with that", he said, speaking from Baghdad.
So if Russian Federation did follow through with its threat, and target a USA aircraft that did not back down West of the Euphrates in Syria, and somehow managed to shoot it down, then what? "They show evidence of arms, logistical and medical assistance, which are all clues of American support for the terrorist group", he continued. This coalition of forces has played a crucial role in the survival of the Assad regime.
Iranian clergymen watch a Shahab-3 long-range ballistic missile.
Recall that Assad and Russian Federation, until very recently, had never faced ISIS head-on.
The chemical attack in Khan Sheikhoun, attempts to create a "Shia corridor" in the southeast of Syria - where Russian Federation and the United States are negotiating the creation of another zone of de-escalation - as well as the downed Syrian air force plane purposefully attacking the SDF forces near Raqqa, certainly sow discord in the dialogue between Moscow and Washington, excluding (as realised by the Iranians) the possibility of Moscow's "betrayal" of its allies in Damascus and Tehran.