Russia is not an impetuous nor an immature superpower. Russia is neither irresponsible nor flippant. Russia does not behave in ways which contravene international law. None of this applies to the United States. This is especially true of America’s intervention in Syria.
Unlike the US which operates totally illegally in Syria, Russia has a mandate to fight terrorism in Syria, one which is fully complaint with the standards of international law. If the United States attacks the Syrian government which is the leader of an anti-terrorist coalition that includes Russia and Iran, this represents nothing less than America intervening on behalf of terrorist forces who are currently losing and losing badly to Syrian led forces.
Russia has every right to retaliate against any American strike on the anti-terrorist coalition in Syria.
Russia furthermore can and must take preemptive measures to position its anti-aircraft and anti-missile systems in Syria in such a way that could restrain any would-be American attack. This is vital to the security of Syria and vital to Russia being able to exercise its legal mandate to fight terrorism in Syria alongside the Syrian government, Iran and their allies.
Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has accused the United States of refusing to target al-Qaeda forces in Syria, specially the notorious al-Nusra faction of al-Qaeda.
“There is a strong impression, based on our fight with terrorism in Syria, that the so-called Al-Nusra or whatever it is called now, is every time spared by the coalition forces headed by the United States and its allies”.
He furthermore said that America is playing “an extremely dangerous game” insofar as the United States is ‘taking the heat off’ of al-Qaeda in Syria and exercising double-standards in America’s self-proclaimed but largely ineffective fight against ISIS in Syria.
It is time for Russia to back up these words and also to refuse to allow American aircraft to fly west of the Euphrates without the appropriate consequences.
After the US shot down a Syrian fighter jet in June of 2017, Russia stated that any such American or US allied aircraft flying west of the Euphrates would be targeted as enemy aircraft. This does not necessarily mean being shot down but it does allow for that in the most necessary of circumstances.
If American maned or unmanned aircraft let alone missiles breach Syrian airspace according to the standards set out by the Russian Defence Ministry, Russia has a duty to shoot those down.
Russia has tried diplomacy and the phones in Moscow are almost certainly being used to talk the US down at this very moment.
If America cannot be talked down, American aircraft and missiles over Syria can be and must be shot down. All other possibilities have been exhausted.