Thursday, August 18, 2016

Dueling US/Russian Strategies in Syria

Dueling US/Russian Strategies in Syria

by Stephen Lendman

Washington’s imperial designs on transforming Syria into another US vassal state had the upper hand until Russia’s intervention last September 30.

Things changed dramatically but not decisively. Endless war continues because America spurns peace. Conflict, instability and chaos serve its interests.

Resolving things diplomatically defeat them. Aiming to regain the initiative, Washington, using Turkish territory as a launching pad, mobilized thousands of terrorist fighters in northern Syria, combining ISIS, Nusra Front and various other so-called “moderate rebels” as bloodthirsty as all the rest.

A massive attack on government-held western Aleppo followed, apparently John Kerry’s August surprise, part of his so-called Plan B, aiming to regain control of the city and continue capturing areas retaken by Syrian forces over the last 11 months - so far without success.

Since early August, Russian warplanes began heavily bombing terrorist-concentrated Aleppo and other areas, their command centers, weapons, munitions and equipment, supply lines, communications capabilities, convoys of military and other vehicles, as well as targets of convenience.

Heavy fighting continues daily. In the last 24 hours alone, Russian and Syrian warplanes conducted around 200 airstrikes on terrorist targets, striking southwestern and eastern Aleppo, inflicting heavy casualties, destroying weapons, munitions and military vehicles.

Russia’s Defense Ministry announced deployment of Tu-22M3 long-range bombers and Su-34 strike fighter warplanes to Iran’s Hamadan airbase for use in waging war on US-supported terrorists in Syria - a major new development in the conflict. 

It gives Russia another platform to launch strikes, especially with long-range bombers capable of carrying powerful payloads, much closer to targets than from its own territory.

Tehran granting permission creates closer ties between both nations militarily in combating the scourge of terrorism in Syria, crucial to defeat.

The Saker reported Russian sources confirming Moscow “ask(ing) Iran to allow Russian cruise missiles to fly through Iranian airspace,” adding:

“It does appear like the collaboration between Iran and Russia is strengthening which is, of course, very good news.”

“(T)he Russians are most definitely increasing their capabilities and the range of options to chose from…depending on the evolution of the situation.”

A more formidable Russian, Syrian, Iranian alliance against US-supported terrorists is bad news for Washington. 

Commenting on Wednesday, deputy State Department spokesman Mark Toner called Russian warplanes launching airstrikes from Iranian territory “(un)helpful because it continues to complicate…a very dangerous situation.”

Indeed so for US prospects of prevailing over Russian efforts to preserve Syrian sovereignty and territorial integrity.

On the one hand, Russia is committed to these objectives along with defeating terrorism in Syria and preventing its spread to its own heartland.

On the other, as long as Washington wants war, peace and stability will remain unattainable.

Things are likely to continue much like they are now for the remainder of Obama’s tenure. What follows from a new US administration is most important.

Clinton and Trump both expressed aggressive foreign policy intentions - intending endless wars on the scourge of made in the USA terrorism without explaining it origin.

Prospects for world peace aren’t encouraging. Flashpoint conditions in Syria, Ukraine, the South China Sea and elsewhere heighten the risk of unthinkable global war with potentially catastrophic consequences if nuclear weapons are used.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

Visit his blog site at 

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