Will Syria be the Terrain of a Russian-American War?

Abdel Bari Atwan, prominent editorialist of the Raï al-Youm newspaper, discusses the recent US threats of military strikes against Syrian government positions, including Damascus, adding that the position of Moscow on this point suggests a possible confrontation between Russia and the United States.

The recent statements by the Syrian President and the increasingly solemn warnings given by Moscow to Washington over the last few days, which spoke of attacking Syria to counter the so-called chemical attacks of Damascus on Eastern Ghouta, all show that a dangerous evolution is looming and is only a few weeks away.

The Russian Foreign Minister has expressed his concern about the growing threat of an American attack on Russia. He also said that if Washington did such a thing, Russia would go into action for the simple reason that the lives of the Russian advisers in Damascus and the agents of the Russian Ministry of Defense would be in danger.

What can be deduced from Lavrov’s statement is that the plan of the American attacks include an attack by the Syrian Ministry of Defense and other Syrian military institutions, including the army command center where Russian military advisers are present alongside their Syrian counterparts.

This is the first time since the beginning of the Syrian crisis seven years ago that Russian leaders have sent such warnings to US authorities.

Moreover, Moscow has been expressing great concern about new acts of armed groups for two weeks, especially since the latter never remains quiet for long and tries to make believe that Damascus is using weapons to ultimately provoke US intervention in Syria.

It should be noted that the Chief of Staff of the Russian Army announced the discovery of a chemical weapons factory in Aftris. This locality is located in Eastern Ghouta and was freed a few days ago from the control of Syrian opponents.

Russia has actual evidence that Washington has crossed all red lines and is preparing to launch air strikes against Syria. Attacks that, unlike al-Shairat, will not be just theatrical, but that could cause the death of a large number of Russian military advisers.

On the other hand, two weeks ago, the Russian President announced in his annual speech that Russia would respond to any aggression against its allies; it is not hard to imagine that Syria and North Korea are its allies.

With all that has been said, Trump could, despite Russian warnings, launch attacks in Syria, above all because he is an adventurer. He has also shown, by sidelining from Rex Tillerson and replacing him with the racist and ultraconservative Mike Pompeo, that he is able to further tighten his policies especially against the Iranian nuclear deal.

The UN special envoy for Syria also announced two days ago that the war in Syria had lasted far too long and that he even foresaw an intensification of fighting on the eve of the eighth year of war. One can also imagine that such a person does not make such comments if he does not have supportive evidence.

Moreover, it is inferred from Russian threats that Moscow will not be content to target US missiles, but that it could very well also target US positions, particularly those located in north-east Syria, in the event that its advisers or its military bases come under attacked.

Nonetheless, Trump will not accept the victories of the Iran-Damascus-Moscow axis in Syria anytime soon, and he is trying to turn things around.

We can conclude that on the eve of this 8th year of war in Syria, the situation seems to be getting worse in this region, and that a real war has begun between Putin on the one hand and Trump and his allies on the other.