The Saker: “Is the next US aggression on Syria already scheduled?”

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The Saker: "Is the next US aggression on Syria already scheduled?"

FILE IMAGE: U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Anderson W. Branch

Written by The Saker; Originally appeared at The Unz Review

The things that please are those that are asked for again and again
Horace

Bomb, Bomb, Bomb, Bomb, Bomb Iran
John McCain

President Putin, Russia and Iran are responsible for backing Animal Assad. Big price…
Donald Trump

It is difficult to have a dialogue with people who confuse Austria and Australia
Vladimir Putin

Bis repetita

It appears that we are coming back full circle: the AngloZionists are again, apparently, preparing to use the very same White Helmets (aka “good terrorists”) to execute yet another chemical false flag attack in Syria and againblame the government forces for it. The Russians are, againwarning the world in advance and, just as last time, (almost) nobody gives a damn.  And there are even reports that the US is, yet again, considering imposing a (totally illegal) no-fly zone over Syria (I have not heard this once since Hillary’s presidential campaign).  And just like last time, it appears that the goal of the US is  to save the “good terrorists” from a major governmental victory.

It appears that my prediction that each “click” brings us one step closer to the “bang!” is, unfortunately, coming true and while the Empire seems to have given up on the notion of a full-scale reconquest of Syria, the Neocons are clearly pushing for what might turn out to be a major missile strike on Syria.  The fact that firing a large number of missiles near/over/at Russian forces might result in Russian counter-attack which, in turn, could lead to an major, possibly nuclear, war does not seem to factor at all in the calculations of the Neocons.  True, the Neocons are mostly rather stupid (as in “short-term focused”) people, with a strong sense of superiority and a messianic outlook on our world.  However, it baffles me that so few people in the USA and the EU are worried about this.  Somehow, a nuclear war has become so unthinkable that many have concluded that it can never happen.

The other thing which the Neocons seem to be oblivious to is that the situation on the ground in Syria cannot be changed by means of missile strikes or bombs.  For one thing, the last US attack has conclusively shown that US Tomahawks are an easy target for the Syrian (mostly antiquated) air defenses.  Of course, the US could rely on more AGM-158 JASSM which are much harder to intercept, but no matter what missiles are used, they will not effectively degrade the Syrian military capabilities simply because there are so few lucrative targets for cruise missile strikes in Syria to begin with.  Considering that the US knows full well that no chemical attack will take place (or even couldtake place, for that matter, since even the USA have declared Syria chemical weapons free in 2013) the White House might decide to blow up a few empty buildings and declare that “the animal Assad” has been punished I suppose.  But even if completely unopposed a US missile attack will make no military sense whatsoever.  So this begs the question of what would be the point of any attack on Syria?  Sadly, the rather evident answer to that is that the upcoming missile strike has less to do with the war in Syria and much more to do with internal US politics.

Russian and Syrian options

There are a few differences too.  The biggest difference is that this time around the Russian naval task force in the eastern Mediterranean is much bigger than last time: 15 ships including two advanced frigates, the Admiral Grigorovich and the Admiral Essen (see a detailed report here: https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/russia-sends-largest-naval-fleet-ever-to-syrian-waters/) and two 636.3-class advanced diesel-attack submarines.  That is a lot of anti-ship, anti-air and anti-submarine firepower and, even more crucially, a lot of advanced early warning capabilities.  Since the Russian and Syria air defense networks have been integrated by single automated fire system this means that the Syrians will very accurately “see” what is taking place in and around the Syrian airspace (this is especially true with the Russians keeping their A-50U AWACs on 24/7 patrol).

What has me most worried are the various reports (such as this one) which says that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov last week that “Moscow would be held responsible” if any chemical attack occurs.  If by “Moscow will be responsible” the crazies in Washington DC mean “morally responsible”, then this is just the usual nonsense.  But I am afraid that with certified nutcases like Bolton and Pompeo in charge, the US might be considering attacking Russian personnel in Syria (not necessarily at the well defended Khmeimin or Tartus bases).  These guys could easily target various installations or Syrian military units where Russian personnel are known to be deployed and declare that they were not deliberately targeting Russians and that the Russians hit were “clearly involved” with the Syrian chemical weapon forces.  The US has already targeted Russian nationals for kidnapping and detention, they might start killing Russian nationals next and then place the responsibility for these deaths on the Kremlin.  You don’t think so? Just think “Skripal” and you will see that this notion is no so far fetched.

The Russians do have options, by the way.  One thing they could do is place 6 (modernized) MiG-31s on quick alert in southern Russia (or, even better, in Iran) and keep a pair of them on combat air patrol over Syria (or over Iran).  Combined with the “eyes” of the A-50U, these MiG-31s could provide the Russians with a formidable capability, especially against the US B-1B deployed in Qatar or Diego Garcia.  So far, the MiG-31s have not seen action in Syria, but if intercepting a large number of cruise missiles becomes the mission then they would offer a much more flexible and capable force than the very small amount of Su-35 and Su-30 currently based in Khmeimim.

But the key to protecting Syria is to beef-up the Syrian air defenses and early warning capabilities, especially with advanced mobile air defense systems, especially many short-to-medium range systems like the Tor-M2 and the Pantsir-S2.  Until this goal is achieved, the USA and Russia will remain in a most dangerous “Mexican standoff” in which both parties are engaged in what I call a “nuclear game of chicken” with each party threatening the other side while counting on its own nuclear capability to deter a meaningful counter-attack or retaliation.  This is extremely dangerous but there is very little Russia can do to stop the US leaders from coming back to that same strategy over and over again.  So far the Russians have shown a truly remarkable level of restraint, but if pushed too far, they next step for them will be to retaliate against the US in a manner which would provide them with what the CIA calls “plausible deniability” (I discussed this option over a year ago in this article).  If attacked directly and openly the Russians will, of course, have no other option left than to hit back.  And while it is true that the Russian forces in and near Syria are vastly outnumbered by US/NATO/CENTOM forces, the Russians have a massive advantage over the USA in terms of long range cruise missiles (see Andrei Martyanov’s analysis “Russia’s Stand-Off Capability: The 800 Pound Gorilla in Syria” for a detailed discussion of this topic).

None of the above is new, the world has been been stuck in this situation for well over a year now and there still appears to be no end in sight.  Unfortunately, I can only agree with Ruslan Ostashko: only a massive military defeat or a no less massive economic collapse will stop the folks who “who confuse Austria and Australia” to give up their insane quest for world hegemony by violence.

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  • Aurelian

    We all Know the attack is coming, no brainer!! Can the Russians&Syrians take out at least 80% of the missiles?
    Hopefully it will be like the last time a couple of buildings destroyed, Assad and his partners not hinderd in beating up on the Jihadis.
    I am A Brit,yet I am so ashamed that we continue to dance with these jihadis, even though we all know they have lost.
    The British Empire is over, we are a nothing power in todays terms nothing to be ashamed of, it is to be embraced.

    • Joe

      What is worse is your govt and US are all acting with brains of kids. How the heck anyone can ever believe another CW by Assad .. even a kindergarten kid will not believe. That is the state the world is now… run by kids esp Bolton, Nikki and Pompeo ..

      • Tommy Jensen

        Its because if US says to Assad he must not use chemical weapons, Assad will do it just to give US/UN/EU/NATO the f..kfinger.

        Assad and Putin are like 15 year old teenagers doing the opposite of what their well meaning parents tell them.

        They do the opposite only to show they are also big guys and can behave like an American because they envy our freedom and easy rider style. Therefore they are using chemical weapons.

        • Turbofan

          I like your comments. I know its sarcasm but you put into words the ridiculous and naive way one has to be thinking to believe what comes out of the west.

        • Joe

          Welcome to join the Bolton gang …. if it is not sarcasm.

          enough said ..ahahahha

        • Jeremy

          If Assad were to use chemical weapons it would be towards American bases on Syrian soil on a windy day wouldn’t it.. Chemical weapons are not practical and only invite warfare.

    • Brad Isherwood

      Britain has for hundreds of years schemed to Keep Germany and Russia from uniting in commerce.
      That act would change Europa Eurasia history.
      England’s Masonic/MIC and Rothschilds has succeeded in making the USA it’s Be’atch
      To serve.
      England may have been bankrupt after WW 2,
      The USA is way over 26 Trillion in Debt, …so ya….The Crown pushes the American Eagle around the Monopoly game board.

      Russia and China are both buying Gold like Crazy while it’s low $$
      Wallstreet and US Jeckyl Island Federal Reserve intentionally push Gold down,
      So that $$USD flies to Wallstreet Ponzi.

      The Sanctions,Tariffs etc drive $$Money out of hiding while Top %Global Corporations consolidate on lesser Corporations. ….Big Fish eat little Fish.

      If Putin really rolled his sleeve up and punched USA …
      The Global Stock markets would careen in panic.

      Russia is supposedly to not renew it’s contract to Launch rockets to supply the ISS next year.
      Russia should be cancelling the contract for Rocket Engines to US .

      Putin’s way too soft on Real Terrorism .

  • Merijn
    • Jens Holm

      The same a usual. Civilians pr definition are terrorrists and must not be helped. I dont see thats better then the Jihadists.

      Assad Feudals did that by no reforms at all in decades. 500.000 is not enough.

      Stealing food and medical care paid by UN is another one. Doctors cant colunter in the zone and UNESCO for children are ignores and named as white helmets as well.

      How proud You are. You certainly have redefined terror, honeur and respect. Hip hip.

      Assads are the most killing group and act like a regime only. No wonder the region has so many ruins. They make them and not even claean up afterwards.

      But of course they did not even liberated themselves. Some from the outside had to do that too, and of course did it not for anyone there.

      Now You expect Russians and even Turks are much nicer – even China is.

      It will be exact the same a long as You insist in being exact the same.

      • Merijn

        At least I still got me Honour and yeah I’m Proud of that… I asked them cunts to open the Gates and come out to play but them Fuckers are hidin’…so you are sayin’ Civilians are the Terrorists? Then I must be a Bloody Terrorist too in your Eyes Right? Fuck the Western Puppeticians & Elites…

      • peacelover

        Who is responsible for those innocent 500 thousands? It was raining of dollars, weapons and bloody terrorists from north Africa and many other countries including Europeans. Who was behind all of this? All world knows USA, Saudis and Israelis.

    • peacelover

      Very good collection of visual evidence.

  • Joe

    It has been proven such air attacks will NEVER degrade ANY MILITARY that is prepared and able to hide their assets . e.g. Serbia or even Iraq

    Dump fools think their cruise would make any difference other than throwing away tax payers’ money at 1.5 million per missile that hit nothing worthwhile.

    No ground forces the size of WWII invasion forces , forget it .

    • JerryDrake

      I totally agree with you about bombing Serbia. They did not accomplish anything, the military forces of the Serbian army they did not even touch, so they started destroying civil infrastructure (bridges, residential buildings, hospitals, schools, public places), after which the government signed the capitulation. The goal is reached, it does not matter how.
      Zato ta pseta nece mi nikad biti prijatelji i ucim mladje generacije da ih patoloski mrze!

      • Jens Holm

        Thats an oppinion as well. I disagree a lot. It was a political destruction very much too.

        • Harold Smith

          He’s correct about Clinton’s cowardly “air campaign.” Clinton dropped bombs from 35000 ft and when that strategy completely failed to damage Milosevic’s armed forces, Clinton attacked civilian targets.

          • JerryDrake

            One correction. Yugoslav armed forces, not Milosevic’s armed forces. Yugoslavia was not a banana republic like now Serbia and the Yugoslav Army never protected Milosevic or any other president, but only the constitutional order and the people.

          • Harold Smith

            Well Milosevic was the President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the commander in chief of the armed forces; and that is the sense in which I used the phrase “Milosevic’s armed forces.

          • JerryDrake

            OK.

        • JerryDrake

          Like I said. Capitulation is a complete political destruction.

  • telemetrie

    Well, the last time Mr. Lavrov warned dear “partners” from Pentagon that Russia can target launching platforms.
    Well, because Russia didn’t made it, we have another chemical false flag in progress.
    I thing one AEGIS destroyer and one strategic bomber should be destroyed this time, just to give Mr. Lavrov’s words some credibility in eyes of dear US “partners”.

    • Jim Bim

      Hopefully, the Russians have learned from last time

    • AJ

      Its one thing to shoot down tomahawks & help the SAA with air defence but I just cant see Russia going after US ships or bases unless they are directly targeted themselves. They understand these crazy neocons will go next level psycho. US deserves a good bloody nose though.

      • w.t.baker

        They don’t have to be limited to only military response. Russia could drop the dollar so could China and many others. What we need to save the world is a New Bretton Woods Accords.

      • al quaida

        “They understand these crazy neocons will go next level psycho.”
        A lot of commentators here either lack that understanding, or want to see that next level happen, because life is a video game to them.

    • peacelover

      Brilliant sayings

    • Vince Dhimos

      They should avoid bloodshed at all costs. Warn the US that just the bow of a ship will be targeted and tell them to put the crew aft or evacuate it.

    • World_Eye

      Yes but the problem is that Russia always wants to preserve the very fragile relationship with the US and that’s why they never do anything.

  • christianblood

    (…The Russians do have options, by the way. One thing they could do is place 6 (modernized) MiG-31s on quick alert in southern Russia (or, even better, in Iran) and keep a pair of them on combat air patrol over Syria (or over Iran). Combined with the “eyes” of the A-50U, these MiG-31s could provide the Russians with a formidable capability, especially against the US B-1B…)

    Good point! A great option for Russia to offset the Empire’s EVIL intention!

    • hope springs eternal.

      Read somewhere they already have the MiG 31 with Kinzhal missiles on patrol over the Caspian sea.

  • Turbofan

    I have said this before .. These thing are bound to happen. Russia has been way too cautious in Syria. Hegemons interpret cautiousness as weakness.When you dont deal with a problem at the inceptions, it may subside for a while but comes back full circle. We have been here twice in the past year and here we are again..

    • frankly

      Hopefully the fallout scrubs your neighborhood of any life first.

  • Raptar Driver

    Every time the Russians back off and don’t respond in kind the Empire pushes a little further and a greater conflict becomes more likely. The problem with playing for time as the Russians are doing is that you give the other side time also, the U.S. is working to close the gap in certain technologies that Russia is now ahead and given time and the unlimited funds America is able to bring it is not out of the question. Strike the morons hard and fast now before it is too late (to avoid a major war), it may be already.

    • Brad Isherwood

      Each time US/Israhell attack Syria,
      Putin should have stepped up level of Syria’s military accross the board.
      At least Su 27s (Russia has lots and lots).
      Attack Helicopters with night vision /targeting and jammers

      More Iskander for Syria with tag that they are nuclear capable Iskander.

      Russia has a area denial Jamming system which would crush US Tomahawks.
      It’s never been used vs the US or Israhell.

      Syria gets the @ kicked out of it while Russia benches it’s A game.
      Just BS…

      Fight or fugging go home!

      It’s always Syria the Victim with Lavrov give US Al Tanf annex,All East Euphrates,
      Tabqa Dam,
      Israhell gets to keep Stolen Syrian Golan.

      I’m not making this up……it’s real real now.

  • Manuel Flores Escobar

    The Russian naval group deployed in the mediterranean.. obviusly aim to US bases in Kurdistan, Jordan, Al Tanf in Syria and Qatar in case of unlikely attacks on Russian troops…USA will not launch cruise missile from mediterranean sea that transit above the Russian ships because can be shot down( specially by S 300 F of the M Ustinov class cruise)…instead of that…USA will launch them from Red sea, Persic gulf and from B1 deployed in Qatar!…what could Russia do?..nothing! supposedly Syrian air defense will shot down many cruise missile but other hit the targets!..otherwise is that Russia can deploy S-400 in Deir Ezzor….then all game change!

  • Brother Thomas

    Patience is the key, not punitive retaliation. If the neocon strategic objective to overthrow Assad and create manageable chaos in Syria cannot be achieved through missile strikes, then this is all blowing smoke and chest beating. With every day that passes the Empire declines further. So a day without triggering a conflict is a day of hope for the world.

  • frankly

    ” Sadly, the rather evident answer to that is that the upcoming missile strike has less to do with the war in Syria and much more to do with internal US politics.” It’s like the Republicans are using US military assets, cruise missiles, to influence the upcoming election. No out of pocket expense, tax payers pony up, Trump looks tough. So a half billion dollar attack to do maybe 5 million in damage and Trump forestalls the inevitable.

    Another fireworks show for the home boys. The Rothschild Zionists probably already got the camera crews in place. Really wonder why he is sad about this though? That word sadly at the start of the above quote?

    I don’t follow MSM so have all the previous shows been ridiculed by the MSM or does the “rocket’s red glare” still stir the hearts of the brain dead, vaccine riddled, zombies, munching chem burgers and trying to figure how to get grandpa into the pickup without breaking the other spring? Or is it the energy drink guzzling workaholics living in a faux mansion with a flat screen on every wall. Buying lottery tickets and dressing their four year old up to look like a hooker. Of course regardless of whether it’s a boy or a girl, yes of course we get keep it up to date on it’s vaccines.

    So far each of the interruptions have been followed by a complete SAA victory. This one feels different, but if it goes similarly it will result in a weak “looking” Russia, with instead of bus rides, fresh graves for the losing Idlib head choppers. The healthiest thing for me would be to shut this damn computer down and spend the weekend in the woods.

  • Jens Holm

    No need even to read. Of course USA is ready for several kind of scenaries.

  • Hide Behind

    What is new about Europeans and Israel UAE and even Turkey’s plans to first balkanize and then economicly depress Syria into but one more sh..hole under their thumbs?
    There has been no brake applied to the long range plans, a short lull. a time between battles is all, US/ Israel still through Kurds have divided and weakened Syria’s old order and into a beggar nation status.
    In US propaganda they use term “NEOCOM” In place of Israeli First US second supporters, traitors of America’s Constitutional cultural roots, but a very rich and internationally supported 5th column so embedded it even controls a huge segment of American Christians as well.
    Morals have no place in Empire builders mindsets, although they hide behind moral bull s..t as they destroy millions, it is raw power that each nation vies for without actually destroying each others economic bases.
    To attempt to analyze the future actions, of a criminal psychotic mindset within what we as sane and thoughtful people desire as peacefully and orderly social interactions is impossible.
    The totally immoral nature of those useing military tactics combined with economic warfare as being normal by those desiring power is of the same nature of a poisonous viper, self indulgence with no thought of what their actions cause to others.
    Wake the F up, bullsh.. never stopped an insane mind from doing what it wants, and the only way to stop a viper intent upon killing you is to kill it first before it has an opportunity to do so.
    To ignore the viper, which is what so many of self indulgent people’s of Eurocentric nations populace do will not rid world of the viper bites, nor of the psychotic leaders biting their own people’s ads someday as well.

  • w.t.baker

    What is wrong with US military over last several decades. Have we become the hammer for the Anglo-Dutch imperialists? The West does not believe a nuclear war could be ignited over such reckless use of military power? Looks as if they can’t break free Lord Bertrand Russell.

    • Ivan Freely

      Dutch? This is about Israel and their ambitions for the region.

      • w.t.baker

        No that is not correct. Read the entire book not just one chapter, so to speak. Go to larouchepac.com please.

  • Harold Smith

    “Sadly, the rather evident answer to that is that the upcoming missile strike has less to do with the war in Syria and much more to do with internal US politics.”

    Is it possible that, in their desperation, Orange Clown and his jewish-supremacist handlers seek to undermine Vladimir Putin’s domestic political support by trying to make him look weak? IOW every time Orange Clown does another war crime in Syria, and Vladimir Putin fails to respond firmly, he’s portrayed as being weak/indecisive, which at some point will start to take a serious political toll if it hasn’t already.

    If this is their intent, then it may actually behoove the perpetrators to let their false-flag plans be “discovered.” The more outrageously brazen they are, the more deliberately sloppy they are, the worse Putin will look if he does nothing decisive in response.

    To put it another way, the Orange Clown demoniac and its demoniac handlers, knowing that Vladimir Putin is restrained because he doesn’t want to risk escalation to nuclear war, is using the whole world as a “human shield” to attack Putin politically by committing unanswered war crimes in Syria.

  • Vince Dhimos

    Yes, Saker. The baffling part is the lack of reaction by the Western zombies.

  • SnowCatzor

    Send some Kinzhal-equipped MiG-31’s to Khmeimin airbase and they won’t dare attack any Russian bases. Because they know they have no real defence against it.

    Aircraft based in Southern Russia or Iran both have to pass over Iraqi (NATO) territory to attack any FUKUS targets in the Mediterranean, so I would just base them in Syria itself.

  • So far Putin has been far too soft. There’s no point playing the “long game” for victory when every step is a defeat or at best a draw. Restraint is stupid when all it does is convince your enemy that you’re weak and it can do more of what it wants.

    • Ivan Freely

      You’re forgetting that the US is losing more friends as they continue on this path. The more friends they lose, the weaker the US dollar becomes. Although this tactic is tedious, it’s also the least bloodiest.

  • Luutzen

    The only thing Russia needs todo:

    sink ONE aircraft carrier, and all US NAvy-Air officers, civil servants dreaming of golden age pensions, will run home.

  • The last paragraph tells it all. Americans have became truly unbearable so humanity must get rid of them if to preserve any future as for humankind.

  • Jon

    With two enormous fire powers systemically adverse to each other getting too close instability arises like critical mass.

    The engagement avoidance measures in place could be defeated by an opportunist or madman.

    De-escalate openly and immediately and seek to delay any engagement.

    Platforms go off like fission if point of chaos is crossed.

    Putin is in control and should declare the peace in Syria and encourage Turkey to handle its new internal Sunni findamentalist Jihadis. Turkey is Best situated for this mission. Let it have Idlib and half of Allepo. This will keep Turkey busy for years.

    Russia has more urgent business closer to home, and clustering its assets on the Lavant for a mission with no greater award than that already accomplished is not in national interest.