Op-Ed: Did US work with Russia in ‘surprise’ Syria strike?

An interesting take that deserves attention.

 

Op-Ed: Did US work with Russia in ‘surprise’ Syria strike?

Shayrat Airfield in Homs, Syria is seen in this DigitalGlobe satellite image released by the U.S. Defense Department on April 6, 2017 after announcing U.S. forces conducted a cruise missile strike against the Syrian Air Force airfield. DigitalGlobe/Courtesy U.S. Department of Defense/Handout via REUTERS

 

Could President Trump have struck a deal with Russia before the strikes in a play to nullify his opposition and peacefully split up Syria?

(VERO BEACH, FLA) On Thursday evening at approximately 20:40 ET (04:40 AM, Friday, April 7th local time) the US reportedly launched 57 Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles (TLAMs) from the Arleigh Burke-class destroyers USS Porter and USS Ross located in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea.

Their target was the Shayrat Airfield in Homs, Syria, and according to Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis the missiles successfully struck aircraft, hardened aircraft shelters, petroleum, logistical storage, ammunition supply bunkers, air defense systems, and radars.

According to the Pentagon press release, Russian forces, as well as regional allies, were notified in advance of the strike using previously established deconfliction lines, and ‘precautions’ were taken to minimize risk to Russian or Syrian personnel located at the airfield. 

“We are assessing the results of the strike,” Capt. Davis added. “Initial indications are that this strike has severely damaged or destroyed Syrian aircraft and support infrastructure and equipment at Shayrat Airfield, reducing the Syrian government’s ability to deliver chemical weapons. The use of chemical weapons against innocent people will not be tolerated.”

According to US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who spoke following a 3 minute press conference by President Trump at the Mar-a-Lago in West Palm Beach, Fla, the United States did not communicate with the Russians before or after the attack.

The Russian’s also claim they received no advance warning. According to TASS Russian officials said the US had informed its allies about the upcoming strikes but failed to notify Russia.

But even with no advance warning the Russian S-300 air defense systems were still able to reportedly shoot down many of the incoming TLAMs.

According to Mimi Al Laham, a media commentator who goes by the nickname “Syria Girl” and @Partisangirl on twitter, sources told her that “many of the Tomahawk missiles” were shot down by Russian air defense.

Another perplexing fact is that at the time of the missile strikes in Syria, President Trump was peacefully eating dinner with Chinese President Xi Jinping, even though this attack could have easily escalated into a nuclear standoff with Russia. Why wasn’t the President and his Eastern counterpart placed in a protective location prior to the launch?

Now Russia has responded through the Chairman for the Russian Senate Security and Defense Committee Viktor Ozerov, who called the attack “an act of aggression against a UN member” and added that Moscow would call an emergency UN Security Council meeting to discuss the situation. But no kinetic response was exchanged.

The last time Russian military assets were threatened in Syria by Western forces, President Vladimir Putin threatened to potentially use tactical nuclear weapons.

Lastly, as of the time of this report, 01:39 AM ET, April 7th, 2017, a report of Syrian casualties has been relayed by the Syrian state media outlet SANA, but no pictures, video, or physical evidence has been presented of the mass damage 59 TBLMs would cause on an isolated target. This could however be due to lack of technology and emergency personal in the region.

Interestingly, Reuters has reported that the Pentagon intentionally targeted areas of the Shayrat Airfield where they knew no Russia or Syrian personal would be located.

Homs Governor Talal Barazi told Reuters by telephone on Friday morning that the missile strike is not believed to have caused “big human casualties, but had caused material damage to the airbase.

WAS IT COORDINATED?

If this strike was a coordinated effort between the Russian government and the Trump administration the President would have had to coordinate the ‘surprise’ strike through a backdoor line with Moscow, to limit accidental escalation and excessive unintended collateral damage.

President Putin of course would have had to be willing prior to the attack to go along with a fake international narrative, and subsequently act appropriately outraged and indignant to the unprovoked U.S. kinetic intervention in a sovereign nation. This outrage would need to be convincing enough to get the UN and international community to maintain the facade.

President Trump would also need to convince both his support base and neocon opposition of the validity of the strike, to gain any political advantage from the action, an act which could potentially give cover for his military apparatus to wage war against ISIS, while domestic opponents such as Senators John McCain and Lindsay Graham believe he is only toppling the Assad regime. Even Hillary Clinton supported a preemptive strike in Syria, a position she must now admit aligns with her former opponent, who she said on more than one occasion was too political inexperienced and trigger happy to effectively defend US foreign interests.

The Syrian government would need to be complicit in this action, at least to the extent that they are willing to follow instruction from the Russians to not retaliate against US advisors and allies on the ground, and also potentially abdicate sovereignty for a multinational partitioning of the nation to neighboring states.

Why would Syria go along with the carving up of their nation? Out of domestic survival, and assurance of asylum to key leadership. Under an agreement where Syria is divided up between Turkey (northern portion), Israel (Southern portion), Jordan (Eastern portion), and Russia (Western portion including the port city of Tartus) gas trade can continue without interruption, and Russia maintains a key junction along the emerging New Silk Road with access by ocean to the Mediterranean Sea.

How plausible is this? Very. All nations mentioned above have expressed their wishes to both end conflict in the region and exert control over Syrian territory they see as both culturally and economically beneficial to their nations. Remember, most countries in the Middle East are simply nations whose borders have been artificially established by the last colonial power to rule their territory.

Full article: Op-Ed: Did US work with Russia in ‘surprise’ Syria strike? (TruNews)

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