Sunday, February 11, 2018

War Clouds Gathering

By Michael Rozeff

The nature of the war in Syria is changing. Israel is attacking Syria more frequently and openly. Today, an Israeli jet was shot down. The U.S. is attacking Syria more openly and forcefully too. The risks of worse warfare to come in Syria are elevating.

The U.S. makes the ridiculous claim that it recently acted in self-defense: “It was self-defense. Obviously, we are not getting engaged in the Syrian civil war,” Secretary of Defense Mattis said.

Mattis lies. The lie is evident because the U.S. got engaged years ago by embedding its “advisors” with Syrian rebel forces. Underscoring its intrusion and presence in Syria, the U.S. declared an “open-ended military presence in Syria”. Syria condemned this border force in strong terms.
The U.S. intervened in the Syrian Civil War within Syrian territory. The U.S. cannot now claim self-defense, the reason being that it has intentionally placed its military personnel in harm’s way without being invited by Syria. That’s an act of war. The only thing that Mattis can possibly claim is that the U.S. has not yet launched a full-scale attack on Syria and isn’t mobilizing forces to do so. But the U.S. retains the option at any time of launching massive attacks from the air whenever it chooses to invoke the justification of “self-defense” for rebel forces or raise the issue of chemical weapons; and it has now launched several of these attacks.

The U.S. has inserted itself into a complex political-military situation involving Israel, Syria, Iran, Turkey, Russia, Hezbollah, Lebanon, Jordan, Arabs, Kurds, rebels, jihadists plus other religious and tribal components.
A number of the possible moves and counter-moves by the parties involved risk escalating the hostilities even further. The situation is fluid, unpredictable and dangerous. Syria, Iran and Hezbollah want control. The U.S. and Israel want regime change. Russia and Turkey have their own objectives. Armed Muslim extremists are a factor.

Escalation can occur in any number of ways. Different sides can declare no-fly zones and install air defense systems. Direct aerial combat between opposing sides can occur. Accidents and intentional provocations can occur as can false-flag attacks. What will happen if the U.S. shoots down a Syrian jet or vice versa, or if a Russian missile shoots down a U.S. jet? What if a number of U.S. soldiers are killed? The weaponry can be escalated that can shoot down airplanes and hit tanks. Infiltration can occur. New forces can be brought in. Political charges and counter-charges can be elevated at the U.N. Threats, declarations and ultimatums can all be invoked. As long as there are no clear victors and no political settlements, these risks continue and they are now being elevated.

The more that Syria wins in its battles, it seems the more that Israel is intent on bombing against Hezbollah and Iran, and the more that the U.S. attempts to break off and hold Syrian oil wells and other Syrian territory. This war has entered a new and dangerous phase.


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