After the ISIS War, a US-Russia Collision?

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Written by Patrick J. Buchanan [American conservative political commentator, author, syndicated columnist, politician and broadcaster]; Originally appeared at Buchanan.org

Sunday, a Navy F-18 Hornet shot down a Syrian air force jet, an act of war against a nation with which Congress has never declared or authorized a war.

Washington says the Syrian plane was bombing U.S.-backed rebels. Damascus says its plane was attacking ISIS.

After the ISIS War, a US-Russia Collision?

Vladimir Putin’s defense ministry was direct and blunt:

“Repeated combat actions by U.S. aviation under the cover of counterterrorism against lawful armed forces of a country that is a member of the U.N. are a massive violation of international law and de facto a military aggression against the Syrian Arab Republic.”

An ABC report appears to back up Moscow’s claims:

“Over the last four weeks, the U.S. has conducted three air strikes on pro-regime forces backed by Iran that have moved into a deconfliction zone around the town of Tanf in southwestern Syria, where there is a coalition training base for local forces fighting ISIS.”

Russia has now declared an end to cooperation to prevent air clashes over Syria and asserted an intent to track and target aerial intruders in its area of operations west of the Euphrates.

Such targets would be U.S. planes and surveillance drones.

If Moscow is not bluffing, we could be headed for U.S.-Russian collision in Syria.

Sunday’s shoot-down of a hostile aircraft was the first by U.S. planes in this conflict. It follows President Trump’s launch of scores of cruise missiles at a Syrian airfield in April. The U.S. said the airfield was the base of Syrian planes that used chemical weapons on civilians.

We are getting ever deeper into this six-year sectarian and civil war. And what we may be witnessing now are the opening shots of its next phase — the battle for control of the territory and population liberated by the fall of Raqqa and the death of the ISIS “caliphate.”

The army of President Bashar Assad seeks to recapture as much lost territory as possible and they have the backing of Russia, Iranian troops, Shiite militia from Iraq and Afghanistan, and Hezbollah.

Assad’s and his allied forces opposing ISIS are now colliding with the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces opposing ISIS, which consist of Arab rebels and the Syrian Kurds of the PYD.

But if America has decided to use its air power to shoot down Syrian planes attacking rebels we support, this could lead to a confrontation with Russia and a broader, more dangerous, and deadly war for the United States.

How would we win such a war, without massive intervention?

Is this where we are headed? Is this where we want to go?

For, again, Congress has never authorized such a war, and there seems to be no vital U.S. interest involved in who controls Raqqa and neighboring lands, as long as ISIS is expelled. During the campaign, Trump even spoke of U.S.-Russian cooperation to kill ISIS.

While in Saudi Arabia, however, he seemed to sign on to what is being hyped as an “Arab NATO,” where the U.S. accepts Riyadh as the principal ally and leader of the Gulf Arabs in the regional struggle for hegemony with Shiite Iran.

Following that Trump trip, the Saudis — backed by Egypt, the UAE and Bahrain — sealed their border with Qatar, which maintains ties to Iran. And though Qatar is also host to the largest U.S. air base in the region, al-Udeid, Trump gave the impression its isolation was his idea.

President Trump and his country seem to be at a decision point.

If, after the fall of ISIS in Raqqa, we are going to use U.S. power and leverage to solidify the position of Syrian rebels and Kurds, at the expense of Damascus, we could find ourselves in a collision with Syria, Russia, Hezbollah, Iran and even Turkey.

For Turkish President Erdogan looks on our Kurdish allies in Syria as Kurdish allies of the terrorist PKK inside his own country.

During the campaign, candidate Trump won support by pledging to work with Russia to defeat our common enemy. But if, after ISIS is gone from Syria, we decide it is in our interests to confront Assad, we are going to find ourselves in a regional confrontation.

In Iraq, the U.S. and Iran have a common foe, ISIS, and a common ally, the government in Baghdad. In Syria, we have a common foe, ISIS. But our allies are opposed by Assad, Russia, Iran and Hezbollah.

The question before us: After Raqqa and Mosul fall and the caliphate disappears, who inherits the ISIS estate?

The U.S. needs now to delineate the lines of advance for Syria’s Kurds, and to talk to the Russians, Syrians and Iranians.

We cannot allow our friends in the Middle East and Persian Gulf to play our hand for us, for it is all too often in their interests to have us come fight their wars, which are not necessarily our wars.

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  • RADOMIR RISTIC

    ‘We cannot allow our friends in the Middle East and Persian Gulf to play our hand for us, for it is all too often in their interests to have us come fight their wars, which are not necessarily our wars.’
    Those your friends are enemy of mankind. You should name them, for the sheeple of America.

  • Daniel Martin

    Just curious, are these American sponsored rebells under ISIS, Al-Qaeda or Al-Nusra command?

    • @Inc2Get

      Isis was armed and funded by American Allies and indirectly and allowed to expand and grow under Obama in order to force Assad to resign and to make it hard for him. Al-Qaeda and Al-Nusra are the same group. Both operate under the banner “FSA” and “Moderate Rebels”. Both have direct support by the US, Turkey and Saudi Arabia. However, in recent days, these Al-Nusra fighters have split into several fractions. One side is allied with Turkey and the other one with the US. Both have engaged in domestic confrontation with one another in both Aleppo and Idlib. Both follow the commands of their sponsors. Same goes for Kurds, they follow the command of their sponsors.

      • Daniel Martin

        I know i was just being sarcastic, but thx for your replie anyway.

    • Joe Doe

      No, you have to reversed, ISIS, Al-Qaeda or Al-Nusra are american proxies and Gladiators

    • FlorianGeyer

      US /CIA Command.

  • Dod Grile

    Who is “we?” I, for one, am not a member of the mafia. Time to end the war racket.

    • John Whitehot

      “we” in the article refers to the US.

      Which is the country that has to fight wars abroad because a large part of its establishment are corrupted by Israeli and Saudi money.

      • Antikapitalista

        Those are “defensive wars” waged *on the other half of the globe*. :-P

  • Mountains

    ISIS is not a nation nor do they have the support of the locals I mean the Iraqis, Syrians and Kurds and mostly made of teenagers and young adults from Europe, North Africa, North America, ME, Australia, China and Central Asia with vey very few locals. They are basically a group of individuals. atleast a 1-year ago people on the ground were confident of ISIS defeat and as you can see they are militarily defeat have max 2 months back.

    All people in the frontline have moved on to securing the resources and finally revealing their true agenda’s. The US is not the aggressor as many of you may have believed previously Assad, Iran and Russia feel extremely cheated by the US and they are pissed of by how the Americans have placed themselves in such a perfect situation in the eastern part and wanting to cut them off and this didn’t sit well with the Russians because when they found out what the Americans were doing it was to late but in order to get it back from them then they have to confront them.

    The Tanf push was one of the recent aggressions seen, the Raqqah situation and you will see more aggression coming from the SAA and allies because they can’t accept the US and allies having all of the countries recourses the same goes to putin and Iran who would have to go home hungry and I doubt they want that after sacrificing so much in Syria.

    • RGtz98

      Still the Americans are in clear violation of Syrian Sovereignty so they have full rights to kick them off.

      • Mountains

        They don’t recognize ASSAD nor do the International community except very very few. His at best viewed as a lowly warlord so all this sovereignty narrative don’t fly. The entire country lays in ruin. Nothing is really left of Syria.

        Israel don’t want to withdraw from the Golan Heights, Turkey don’t want to withdraw from the areas in conqurered nor will the Kurds and the same goes to the Americans and their plan is basically take Raqqah and Deir Ezzor.

        The Rebels will remain in their locations , while Jordanians will remain in the border regions inside syria in Al-tanf and the surrounding areas.and the only one who will leave the picture very soon is ISIS. The rest will remain

    • Wahid Algiers

      Mountains! Your name is where stinking kurds belong too. To the mountains of central asia nearby Turkmenistan/Usbekistan.

    • FlorianGeyer

      Rubbish.

    • Terra Cotta Woolpuller

      The US has manipulated this from the beginning when lapdogs like you wise up and continually to act aggressive all they are currently doing is pissing off the rest of the world . They openly violate laws and refuse to ratify the Roman Statute which would have the US guilty of mass genocides for their past and current actions . What is really a moot point is they have been constantly in violation of Gen. Con. ,UN articles resolutions ,CCC,CWC, international laws etc., but how many more violations are they going to rack up . The Butcher’s bill is adding up and the day it has to be paid will be high . The day ISIS is done so is the US in the region , and it will not be allowed another Balkans unless it is the one going to be Balkanized and that might be a good thing for the future of this planet .

  • Manuel Flores Escobar

    USA Seek Rojava kurdistan as a new Israel but with US bases there!…and a buffer zone in Al Tanf….What is the antidote?…to wait for ISIS defeat and then to deploy S-300 in Damascus and Hassaka province under control of SAA with Russian advisors…then SAA can retake these zones in spite of US military as SAA know what happened with US troops in Lebanon( 1982/3) that sooner or later USA withdraw from there when there will be casualties of US soldiers!

    • More

      Manuel Flores Escobar

      Russia does not give any free military equipment to Syria unless Iran pays for it in hard US$s.

      Putin is best friends of Netanyahu and Israel and wants (non Muslim) immigrants from Israel to settle in Russia.

      Putin will not supply S300 to Syria because Israel will not allow it.

      Example Iran paid for S300 many years ago and Russia refused to supply it to Iran because of Israeli objections.

      The S300 which is now obsolete was delivered after 10 years delay to Iran.

      • Manuel Flores Escobar

        Russia dont supply S-300 and modern Mig 29M for many reason…for example that many pilot can desert to israel( paying money) with that plane as it was happen during 80s with Mig 23 and Gazelle helicopter, other reason is that S-300 could fall into al Qaeda hands as SA 5 in Aleppo!,…Russia know that a defeat in Syria will be a defeat In Russia and NATO will continue expansion!…Trump is just a puppet of neocons which mission is to destroy Russia!…therefore if Russia dont show strenght about Trump bluff…it would turn againts Russia very dangerous!

        • More

          Manuel Flores Escobar
          You make very good points regarding the advanced weaponry for Syria.

          “…to deploy S-300 in Damascus and Hassaka province under control of SAA with Russian advisors…”

          It is very doubtful If S300 will be supplied to be used under Syrian Military control even of Russians are present.

      • Sean Glennie
  • More

    “AFTER THE ISIS WAR, A US-RUSSIA COLLISION?”

    There will be no US – Russia collision because Putin’s Russia has a history making a lot of noise, blowing hot air and backing off first apart from conducting its conflicts in slow motion which have consequences.

    The US controlled by the Neoconservatives are always steps ahead.

    Because of Putin’s inability to face his enemies, Syria will fall into Turk Saudi control and the Russians will have to vacate their bases in Syria.

    • FlorianGeyer

      ” The US controlled by the Neoconservatives are always steps ahead. ”

      And tripping up with every step :)

      • More

        FlorianGeyer
        ” And tripping up with every step :). ”

        The Neoconservatives wake up everyday on how to create wars, conflicts and chaos.

        And yes you are right, the Neoconservatives trip up all the time which causes the wars to turn into conflicts or endless chaos.

        These are the consequences of Russia’s slow motion support of Syria:

        Syria 500,000 plus killed, 1.9 Million injured, 6 Million displaced refugees,

        Syrian life expectancy has dropped from 70.5 years in 2010 to an estimated 55.4 years in 2015.

        Syrian Infrastructure destroyed, Syrian economy trashed.

        Syrian oil production dropped from 400,000 B/D to 8,000 B/D, there is hope this will rise to 12,000 B/D.

        Syria was a very large exporter of Phosphates in 2010, currently zero exports.

        This war has already cost Syria approx US$650 Billion in lost economic growth and could cost Syria nearly US$1.3 Trillion in lost economic growth by 2020.

  • nshah

    We are getting ever deeper into this six-year sectarian and civil war.

    Wrong..! Correction: It’s a PROXY WAR..! Plus what the pariah curds doing now.. brought in the troy horse/whores

  • FlorianGeyer

    The USA has no legal moral or other right to be in Syria anyway and certainly no rights to decide events there.

    • More

      FlorianGeyer
      What you write is correct under International Law and people who know the difference between right and wrong, moral or immoral.

      The part you missed out is the first casualty of a Neoconservative controlled war is International Law.

      The second is Neoconservatives do not know the difference between right and wrong, moral or immoral, example when Wolfowitz was asked:

      Why do you make war? He replied because we can.

      • FlorianGeyer

        It was Winston Churchill I think who said ‘The first casualty in war is truth ‘.

        • More

          FlorianGeyer
          He probably did but at that time the Neoconservatives were just a glimmer in their YIddisha Mama’s heart.

          Churchill also said the unthinkable will happen if a criminal nation acquires its own country.

          • FlorianGeyer

            And he was correct. It is interesting though to research Winstons family links to judaism and also his precarious finances that were ‘rescued’ ( for a price in favours no doubt) by a jewish bank.

          • More

            FlorianGeyer
            Churchill’s Kosher rescue so to speak, LoL:))) is the story of much of the English Aristocracy and Landowning Nobility who slowly ran out of money and obtained Fiat currency finance against solid assets.

            Any impartial person would have to admit there are no smarter people than they.

          • FlorianGeyer

            For about 200 years during the Middle Ages all jews were banished from England. They crept back during the Civil War and funded the Parliamentarians against the Royalists. Partly out of malice I think for being kicked out.

          • More

            FlorianGeyer
            People with an unbelievable ability to keep their faith and to outlast centuries, cling on to hard capital, come back and double it during time of crisis.

            The greatest known transfer of real wealth in exchange for Fiat money.

  • Fred

    Presently the Zionists are using their vassal nations, led mainly by the US, to expand the conflict in Syria. Controlling the debt and finances of the US and GB in particular, with the threatening replacement of the US petrodollar and the collapse of our debt-ridden economies, these nations are being led on by the spoils of unilateral control of oil, natural gas, and other resources not only in the Middle East but also in Russia. The strategy is to escalate the war in Syria hoping to draw Shiite Iran and Sunni Saudi Arabia into a major war with the US, GB and Israel backing the Sunnis and then picking up the pieces.