Exacerbation of Tensions in Syria: Who Stands to Gain?

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Exacerbation of Tensions in Syria: Who Stands to Gain?

Written by Peter Korzun; Originally appeared strategic-culture.org

French President Emmanuel Macron has said he would order airstrikes against Syria if the rumors that its government has used chemical weapons (CW) against civilians are confirmed. Never backed up with any solid evidence, such reports crop up from time to time in the Western media. In some cases the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has claimed that the traces actually led to the rebels, not the Syrian government. More of the CW stories have been published recently. Why now? A bit of background information can offer some clues.

The situation in Syria has been greatly aggravated. France is not the only actor threatening an incursion. Israel has just attacked some sites in Syria, as well as what it called “Iranian forces in Syria” and said that it would not hesitate to do so again. It hit an Iranian drone and lost an F-16 fighter. A direct confrontation between Israel and Iran is highly likely. Israel has beefed up its defenses at the Syrian border.

The Trump administration, which has taken a hard line on Iran, strongly supports Israel. It says the US will not allow Iran to entrench itself in Syria so close to Israel’s border. A conflict between Israel and Iran will jeopardize US forces all over the Middle East. Iran’s mobile missiles have a range of 2,000 kilometers (1,200 miles), which puts every American base in the region within their reach, including the ones in Qatar, Kuwait, the UAE, and the US Fifth Fleet based in Bahrain. A strike range like that is enough to make the US outposts in Syria and Afghanistan vulnerable as well. Israel is also within the missiles’ reach. Iran’s ballistic missiles are not covered by the 2015 “nuclear deal,” but nonetheless the US has slapped sanctions against Tehran because of its missile program.

Tensions have been cranked up during a time when Russia and its partners in Syria – Turkey and Iran – are making major diplomatic advances. The Syrian National Congress, held in Sochi on Jan. 30, brought together more than 1,500 Syrians to kick-start the national dialog. This new forum has every chance of becoming a platform to unite all those who are taking part in the negotiations in Geneva and Astana. The UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan De Mistura gave due credit to the event.

On Feb. 15, Russian President Vladimir Putin held talks with King Abdullah II of Jordan. The two leaders discussed a number of issues in private. The prospects for a peaceful settlement of the Syrian crisis topped the agenda. In an interview with the Russian government-owned daily newspaper Rossiyskaya Gazeta, the Jordanian king called President Putin his brother.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas visited Moscow on Feb. 12. It was a landmark visit reflecting a major shift from the US to Russia as the chief mediator between Palestine and Israel. The Palestinian leader ousted America from this role after President Trump’s Dec. 6, 2017 announcement of US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. That decision significantly undermined US credibility in the Middle East. Impressed with Russia’s diplomatic efforts to overhaul the Syrian peace process, Mahmoud Abbas asked Moscow to organize an international peace conference to settle the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

If Moscow accepts the offered role and manages to make some progress, its influence in the region will skyrocket, dwarfing that of the United States, which has already seen its stature diminished after its failures in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other places. Unlike Moscow, Washington can offer no alternative to the work being done in Astana and Sochi. Its contribution to the stymied Geneva talks is has been modest at best. The humiliation of the US over its Jerusalem policy at the United Nations General Assembly put a spotlight on Washington’s waning clout.

The illegal presence of the US in Syria has become more complicated and fraught with many dangers. The need to fight the Islamic State* became a flimsy pretext after the jihadist group’s defeat. Now the alleged threat coming from Iran is being used to justify US military operations in a faraway country. America is sparing no effort to try to bring back the days when it was the only dominant power in the Middle East. One way to do that is to lead the anti-Iran coalition. The best place to confront Iran and start rolling back its influence is in Syria. France is ready to join Washington in a pinch. Inflaming the Israeli-Iranian standoff serves that purpose, but the main obstacle there is the peace process Russia is spearheading. And the harder Russia works, the more artificially created situations spring up to thwart the achievement of that noble goal.

* Terrorist organization, banned in Russia by court order.

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  • chris chuba

    Israel will not tolerate the presence of a country capable of deterring arbitrary air attacks in their territory.

  • leon mc pilibin

    The Synagogue of Satan never rests in its evil schemes.Maybe this is the end game coming soon in Syria.

  • Pave Way IV

    Israel should keep in mind that Syria also has the equivalent of a nuclear deterrent. If Israel keeps pushing for instability and chaos in Syria, then Syria can do the same thing in Jordan. The little people in Jordan are already one step away from hanging their obscenely wealthy king and his corrupt government lackeys from lamp posts.

    That’s the trouble with Wahhabizing poor Sunnis – you eventually end up with a lot of them in a country that you don’t intend to regime-change. Yet, there they are. Oops! Try to tell these budding jihadists that Jordanian royalty is somehow exempt from Wahhabi Death Cult ‘ways’. Ten million poor Jordanians – the vast majority Sunni – along with a couple of million starving refugees. Israel just doesn’t have enough people-shredding bombs for that kind of neighbor. At some point, Mossad plants and political bribes just won’t work. It isn’t going to take much to foment regime change in Jordan today – they’re almost there already.

  • FlorianGeyer

    ” The need to fight the Islamic State* became a flimsy pretext after the jihadist group’s defeat. ”

    And the general acceptance of many in the world that the US was and still is indirectly and directly supporting ISIS + its other incarnations in many countries now.

    As US influence wanes , so will the US grip on her vassal states. Rather like a bullying employer who is hated by the staff.

    • Samantha Green

      ISIS is NOT DEFEATED! It still has hundreds of square miles of territory and will still not be defeated even when that territory is gone. AFTER ISIS is defeated, then there may be reason for conflict between the west and abortion banning Syria, though not abortion rights defending Russia. However that time is NOT YET! The Khasham fight was complete idiocy on both sides since there is still ISIS territory to attack many miles away, on both sides.

      • FlorianGeyer

        The issue now is the evidence of the US extracting key ISIS commanders and also integrating defecting ISIS thugs into other US terror groups, in Syria and other countries.

        The US has created a problem as a reason to illegally invade Syria.

        The US thought that by now the Black flag would be flying over Damascus and US construction firms would be awarded contracts to re-build Syria.

        • Samantha Green

          Very few Americans may be secretly supporting ISIS, but most Americans hate ISIS and that includes most US soldiers and most US soldiers deployed to Syria, such as the marine artillery units. These rank and file soldiers would find out if ISIS were supported on a really large scale, and finding out would be devastating to US military morale and effectiveness. This also includes pilots. Very few Americans are going to risk their lives for ISIS. So some drone pilots might, but the CIA will have one hell of a time recruiting pilots for manned combat missions in support of ISIS.

          • FlorianGeyer

            What you say has merit but there are always those in any organisation who will go against the wishes of the majority to create a desired result. The CIA has been doing this for decades.

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  • Ma_Laoshi

    France is threatening to bomb Syria because you should never believe European proclamations that they’re peaceful peoples–they like it when the darkies are shown who is boss, provided that the price is right. And the price is right in Syria because with Putin there just are never consequences–Macron will never hear “Say, how may aircraft carries have you got to lose” in a way that sticks.

    France is also threatening to bomb Syria because Macron owes everything he is to mentors like Rothschild and Attali, who can now call in a favor for their tribe. The French knew all this before voting for him anyway.

  • Hide Behind

    Ah ha, the little French weasels are now thinking they once more are a colonial powerhouse, but they do have reason to believe such.
    As reward of Partnership with US to destroy Libya, the also got rights to increase their notary in their old African Colonies.
    THEY now have over 10,000 manpower in Mali, Central African Republic, Chad, Spec Ops in others Somalia and even now trying with US and NATO to form a line of large military bases along the southern transsaheil line from coast to coast.
    It is within 9 African nations and is part of US Empire building network, Trans African military forces.
    One must reme.ber French spec ops are with US in Afghanistan. Iraq, Syria, based within Jordan’s very large NATO training base, and they joyfully joined in Attacking Iraq with the American payment for services rendered plan, access to Iraq Kurd oil.
    FRANCE IS A NUCLEAR ARMED NATION!
    It has its own independent of US and NATO nuclear program.
    It has stockpiles of weapons grade Plutonium and warhead supplies to damn near instantly make more.
    FRANCE has huge internal social pressures and a little rah rah military adventurism goes a long way in pacifying their smug and dumb as an American populace.

  • Real Anti-Racist Action

    Jews stand to gain everything. In the end Jews plan on owning Damascus and Moscow again!
    Jews win humans loose. The same tired Zionist tune keeps on playing.

    • matt

      here comes the pathetic “anti racist”again