In the early morning hours in Damascus, Syria, the skies lit up with incoming missiles and anti-missile systems fire as the United States, Great Britain and France conducted a coordinated strike against what are claimed to be chemical weapons facilities in and around the capital as stated by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford:
- a scientific research center in the greater Damascus area used for research, development, production and testing of chemical weapons;
- a facility just west of Homs which is thought to be center for sarin gas production and “precursor production equipment;”
- a command post located near the first facility
Fox News in early commentary noted that there were actually three precision attacks, made against the alleged clandestine chemical weapons research and manufacturing facilities. The US President Donald Trump noted later that this action is not intended as the opening move of a new war, but rather is intended as a “one time shot”, with the intent of seeing to it that a major message was sent to President Assad for his decision to use chemical weapons on his own people.
At the present time, it is understood that the US and Russian forces worked along the “deconfliction lines” mutually established, and that Russian assets were not targeted in this attack. However, what we know now is that the Russians were not told about what the targets were to be in advance of the attack.
Now, as one can see elsewhere on The Duran, the prevailing thought among us is that this gas attack was at best a staged hoax and at worse a false flag attack designed to give militant groups in Syria more of a basis upon which to attack American troops. We also are fairly unified in the question of “why would al-Assad authorize such an attack when he knows it would bring such a wrathful response against him?” After all, just a few days ago, President Trump had stated that the Americans needed to leave Syria.
There is more than a fair amount of skepticism even among the Trump-supporters on Fox, namely both Tucker Carslon and Laura Ingraham, as to how wise or foolish this attack was to conduct.
In an attempt to take a coolly objective view, it does appear from the lack of serious response from Russian news sites, that this incident is far less than the outrage that it was interpreted as. That does not mean that it was the right thing to do. Insofar as the public news agencies have access to detailed information that paints an indisputable portrait of what happened with this alleged chemical weapons attack, it would seem that the United States had no right to proceed along this course.
This may in fact be exactly the case. There is certainly a lot of precedent suggesting this is so: The rush to judgment on the Skripal poisoning, the “Russiagate investigation” that is a whole lot of nothing and nowhere, and the constant fire attacks of dishonest rhetoric against Presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin each in their own manner, plus a string of quite evident US foreign policy failures in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Palestine and Iran to name a few, and just lies and dishonesty from all sides everywhere… It is not a real conducive environment for dissemination of the truth.
The point that must be considered is that the military strategy of any nation is not something that is likely to be divulged to the press. That is a great way to lose wars, because the media will broadcast the strategy. So, this brings the possibility that the lack of substantive proof presented to or on the news media may be simply, normal for the situation. A good military team knows this.
If anyone possesses a good military assessment team in the world, right now one major person benefiting from such a team is President Trump. (The other is President Putin.)
From our point of view there are a LOT of fishy elements. This attack happening literally days after Mr. Trump announced that the US needs to get out of Syria – this is suspicious, and from a Western point of view, it is totally illogical reasoning for al-Assad to gas his own people right after the US says it needs to leave. A smart leader, it seems, would wait until the Americans DO leave and THEN do such an attack where no American press or military forces would be there to know about it and respond to it.
But that is my thinking. Maybe Assad really is crazy enough to think this action is a good idea. Honestly I do not know. Saddam Hussein did some really odd things too, like burying planes in the sand to hide them from the American forces. It is possible that al-Assad is either insane or has some crazy utterly foreign sense of logic. It is more believable to think that his was indeed a false-flag attack, or a staged attack by a deep-state operative of the USA or of some other power that wants American forces not to leave Syria for some reason. This still is the most likely possibility in my own opinion.
The events that happen next may not be very revealing. But even so, here are some possibilities:
- Syria will retaliate with military force against the US with the charge that the US violated international laws by attacking with neither proof of or any other provocation by, the Syrian forces. If Syria does this, most likely the response will come without direct help from its Russian allies, because if that were to happen, that is something to truly worry about.
- Syria’s own national military will do nothing in response, and Russian rhetoric will spike in a flurry of rage from relatively junior offices. President Putin my respond with a sanctions, or he may just continue business as usual. He may speak strong condemnation against President Trump and France and England, but he will not throw down the gauntlet.
- If the gas attack was conducted by Syrian rebels, then most likely they will lay low until the next time it seems a good idea to further antagonize the situation by staging an attack.
- If the attack was done by American or British / Allied sources, there will come an investigation by Russian intelligence sources that will be completely devastating to the cause of the instigators – or it will be squelched to the public
- The grim prospect pf an all out war in Syria will be avoided by any means necessary because of the danger it creates of putting the USA and Russia into a direct confrontation.
There is one more point that needs to be made.
- None of this action that took place provides a compelling reason for US forces to stay in the region. Trump’s earlier call for American troops to leave this country may still be realized in short order. This possibility depends on how accurate the intel was in coming to the decision to launch this airstrike. As we can see, this appears to be quite a gamble.
if the powers driving this actually succeed in starting a full war, then all I can say is “God, help us.” The reason is simple, and it has not changed:
There is no compelling cause for the United States to go to war with Russia, or vice versa. No matter how much any conspiratorial forces may want this, there simply is no way to create such a stage for a conflict on that scale.
This is a serious matter, and honestly, it is one to pray for God’s help about more than anything. But it is probably not the end of the world.
Unless we decide to make it so.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.