A new catastrophic phase in the Syrian carnage

US President Donald Trump signs more overtime pay for the US Secret Service, April 6 2018. White House photo, by Shealah Craighead

At a time when Donald Trump, the US President of ‘America first’ had just urged his military to leave Syria, the gas attack in Douma, near Damascus seems to change the prospect for Washington abandoning this country to Assad, Putin, Erdogan and the Iranians. Last Saturday, more than 60 people died and about 1000 were severely wounded in this tormented Syrian city, the last ditch of anti-Assad rebels in the area of Eastern Ghouta, close to capital Damascus. It was the first province seven years ago to have risen against the Assad regime. Independent sources say poisonous gas bombs spread a deadly mix of sarin and chlorine, but this has not been confirmed by independent bodies.

Trump accused Assad and the Russians for the gas attack and actually he has even mentioned President Putin possibly as personally responsible. “This is about humanity. We’re talking about humanity. It can’t be allowed to happen” he said. According to Reuters, when asked if Russian President Vladimir Putin may be responsible for the attack, Trump replied, “He may, yeah, he may. And if he does it’s going to be very tough, very tough.”

Washington threatens Moscow

The Russians and the Assad regime have denied any implication in the attack. They accused the Americans of staging the whole affair in order to create a justification base for a strike. In any case, the relevant UN body has already “documented 33 chemical attacks in Syria, attributing 27 to the Assad government, which has repeatedly denied using the weapons”. One year ago, the Americans fired a ballistic missile from a ship in the Eastern Mediterranean and hit a key Assad government/Russia military air base, bringing the confrontation with Moscow to a dangerous point. Reportedly, on that occasion, the airplanes which had fired gas bombs had flown form that airport.

This time, however, it’s rather Israel to have instantly responded to that. According to well informed sources, F-15 Israeli airplanes flying in Lebanon’s air space, hit a Syrian government air base near the city of Homes. Reportedly, 14 people were killed in this Tivas or T-4 air base. Unconfirmed information says a number of Iranians were amongst the victims. If this is so, the Israeli attack makes sense, given that Tel Aviv has repeatedly accepted striking positions in Syria at times and places where the Iranian fighters’ presence was very strong.

A poisonous atmosphere

Still, to this day, it has not being defined what kind of poisonous gas was used last Saturday in Douma, or even if there was a gas attack at all as the Assad/Russia side alleges. Only the UN and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) based in the Netherlands can do that in a reliable way. The experts of this last body have ascertained in the past – not without difficulties in accessing the right cites – that the Assad regime has used sarin and chlorine poisonous gases against the rebels. On those occasions, Damascus had answered that the government forces had confronted mustard gas attacks by the ISIS-Islamic State fighters.

Whatever the results of a future UN or OPCW forensics examination in Douma, the truth remains that only hours after the alleged gas attack, the Assad government/Russia forces completed the occupation of the entire Eastern Ghouta region, adjacent to Damascus. All along the seven years war, this region was held by rebels confronting successfully the Assad regime. By regaining control of this area, Damascus secures its grip in the entire south east part of the country. It’s a major win for the regime and its backers in Moscow, comparable to the taking of Aleppo.

Russian gains

In one word, the Damascus government and its Russian supporters become so far the real winners of the war, securing the control of more than half of the Syrian soil. By the same token, the US plus France and Britain intervention in the Syrian affair failed to accomplish its strategic target, to chase away Assad. He and his regime now proves that there cannot be a final political solution to the entire Syrian problem without him and his Russian backers.

No wander then why Washington, together with Paris and London felt obliged to raise the issue of the alleged gas attack high and actually threaten Russia with direct military retaliation. Last Monday, Trump went as far as to say that the White House will soon answer with force and that “the United States had a lot of options militarily on Syria”. However, even if the US decide to hit a major Assad military target with missiles fired from ships sailing in the Eastern Mediterranean, the military situation on the ground won’t change. Assad and Moscow will remain on the winning side. The West’s insistence to ‘punish’ those who fired the poisonous gas bombs is then just a face saving gesture. Not to forget, Trump only one week ago had urged his military leaders to prepare a full withdrawal from Syria.

The US won’t leave

Undoubtedly though, there are other voices within the American administration and of course in Tel-Aviv, rejecting any idea of an American departure from Syria. Israel is watching with horror its deadly enemies in Tehran, having constructed a well controlled corridor from the Iranian borders, through north Iraq and Syria and from there to Lebanon and the Mediterranean with the Iran affiliated Hezbollah. This last Shiite organization, a very close ally of Tehran, is the most powerful political/military movement in Lebanon, effectively retaining a grip on the country’s future.

Actually, this reality has led both Israel and Saudi Arabia to come to terms between them and start a close political and security cooperation. Their aim is to jointly put a stop to the growing Middle East influence of their common arch enemy, Iran. This said, the strong sway of Israel in the US Administration and the decisive presence of the Jewish community in the US and more so in the White House will certainly neutralize Trump’s natural isolationist tendencies. As a result, the US won’t abandon Syria and probably will increase its implication in renewed and toughened fighting.

Unfortunately, all that means there is no end to the woes of the already dismembered country and her ill-fated people.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Featured Stings

Lack of investment and ambition means Youth Guarantee not reaching potential

Eurozone: Subdued inflation can lead to more recession

The EU Diplomacy in North Korea promotes peace or war?

UK keeps its Brexit plan secret or there is no strategy at all whatsoever?

45th Anniversary of the French Confederation (Confédération Nationale des Junior Entreprises)

IMF: How can Eurozone avoid stagnation

Yellen and Draghi tell Trump and markets not to expedite the next crisis

Eurozone: Austerity brings new political tremors

South Korea: A cherished partner for the EU

The EU Commission is lying to the “Right2Water” campaign

The Brits are not an exception and that’s why they voted to leave

An Easter Special: Social protection of migrants in Europe as seen through the eyes of European youth

EU economy: Between recession and indiscernible growth

German elections: Is Merkel losing ground or Shultz is winning?

EU members commit to build an integrated gas market and finally cut dependency on Russia

UN member states express their will to tackle global migration but specific actions are still missing

India’s Largest Entrepreneurship Event is Back! (23-24th August 2016)

Banking on sunshine: world added far more solar than fossil fuel power generating capacity in 2017

Why will Paris upcoming “loose” climate change agreement work better than the previous ones?

Vendor Pulse – 2000

ECB ready to counter the rise of the euro?

Britain in and out of the EU

MEPs Anti-fraud votes for more votes?

Brexit negotiations: back to square one, tougher words, no good faith

An EU Summit without purpose

No hard drivers in sight to remodel the stagnating affairs of the EU

Do the EU policies on agro-food smell?

Will the European Court of Justice change data privacy laws to tackle terrorism?

Climate Change: a challenge yet to be tackled in medical schools

Why growth is now a one way road for Eurozone

The banks first to benefit from the new euro trillion ECB plans to print

Is the ECB ready to flood Eurozone with freshly printed money?

Is a full course lunch, a new Commissioner and 2 million anti-TTIP citizens what you would call a “Fresh Start”?

ECB to play down IMF’s alarms for deflation danger in the EU

A day in the life of a refugee: the wait

The European Youth Forum needs better signal for its “call” for Quality Internships

Intel @ MWC14: Our Love Story with Mobile – Transforming Wireless Networks

The British “nonsense”, the relaxed Commissioner and the TTIP “chiaroscuro” at this week’s Council

French Prime Minister passes Stability Program and takes his ‘café’ in Brussels this June

How to test if Kiev’s ‘Maidan’ was an authentic revolt or a well-planned operation

Meet the Junior Enterprise network at JEWC 2014!

Data show EU Economy in a stubbornly subdued state

Amazon, a pair of shoes and my Data Privacy walks away

EU’s guidelines on net neutrality see the light although grey areas do remain

EU’s core members are eyeing larger parts of arms trade and of world map

To all far-right partisans who exploit Charlie Hebdo atrocity: a peaceful reply given by a peaceful student

A male gynecologist in Iraq: red line violated

Breaking barriers between youth in the new tech era: is there an easy way through?

The Brussels bureaucracy blocks the Youth Guarantee scheme

Learn from the margin, not the center: digital innovation with social impact as transformative force bridging digital divide

COP21 Breaking News_10 December: the final sprint of the Final Agreement Negotiations

Italy’s M.Renzi and Germany’s S. Gabriel veto austerity, ask EU leaders to endorse growth measures

Commission: Gifts of €6 billion and free trainees to ‘help’ poor employers

Changing for the change: Medicine in Industry 4.0

Manufacturers Get Smarter for Industry 4.0

Schaeuble wants IMF out and bailouts ‘a la carte’ with Germany only to gain

‘Habitual residence’ rules deprive EU workers from social benefits

2013, a Political Odyssey: What future for Italy?

ECB: The bastion of effective and equitable Europeanism keeps up quantitative easing

Is “Sustainable Development” a concept that integrates Health Literacy and Health Policy as a global health action?

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s