Friday, April 13, 2018

Dangers of a Global Conflict

US president Trump's confusing messages tweeted the day before, led to uncertainty among America's friends and foes. Even if it's only " a macho contest between Trump and Putin " as Bloomberg View put it only some hours ago, there are rising fears that Trump might trigger off a military conflict with Russia, the main ally and military partner of Syria's Assad regime and which is most probably responsible for a chemical warfare scenario effecting many innocent Syrian civilians.

" Alpha males. No longer shaking hands. "

Vassily Nebenzia, Moscow’s ambassador to the United Nations, said he “cannot exclude” war between the United States and Russia and urged Washington and its allies to refrain from military action against Syria.

“The immediate priority is to avert the danger of war,” he told reporters. “We hope there will be no point of no return,” the envoy said.


Moscow is estimated to have dozens of aircraft at its Hmeymim air base in Syria including fighters and bombers, as well as 10 to 15 warships and support vessels in the Mediterranean.

The Syrian government and Russian forces in Syria possess truck- mounted surface-to-air missile and anti-aircraft artillery weapons systems.


Russian ships had left the Tartus naval base in Syria, Interfax news agency quoted a Russian lawmaker as saying. Vladimir Shamanov, who chairs the defense committee of the lower house, said the vessels had departed the base for their own safety, which was “normal practice” when there were threats of attack.

Any U.S. strike would probably involve the Navy, given the risk to aircraft from Russian and Syrian air defenses. A U.S. guided-missile destroyer, the USS Donald Cook, is in the Mediterranean.

[Quotings from a Reuters news agency report, updated early in the morning on 13 April 2018]

Russische Kriegsschiffe verlassen syrischen Hafen Tartus.

Russian warships leaving Syrian port of Tartus.

Photo above: French president Macron confirms there are proves that
Basher Assad's military used chemical weapons in a populated area.

[Welt, German online news on 13 April 2018, 01:39 am]

And by the way, there are as well quickly rising tensions between Iran, the other ally of Assad's regime, and Israel. After a recent Israeli air raid that was targeting joint Iranian-Syrian operations, the traditional US partner Israel is now awaiting retaliation from Iran for the death of its military advisers in Syria. Such, a most dangerous confrontation is building up between Russia and Iran on one side and the US and its proxy Israel on the other side while, at the same time, a chaotic situation results from the absence of clearly defined strategic positions regarding US engagement in the Middle East.

بروكنجز: خلاف إسرائيلي أمريكي حول سوريا

Brookings Doha Center: Disagreement between Israel and the US about Syria.

This is referring to a basic disagreement between the US and Israel, particularly with regard to the policy toward Iran and Syria, and which shadowed the relation between both countries during the presidency of Barack Obama. It was the reason for Israel to welcome the election of Donald Trump as Obama's successor.

The Brookings Institute of Studies, a US related think-tank, now comes to the conclusion that Trump's policy in the Middle East is essentially the same as Obama's policy, which is essentially about reducing engagement or US involvement in the region's conflicts and thorny issues. This is marked by Trump's desire to withdraw US troops from Syria.

[El-Balad البلد, Lebanese news service on 12 April 2018]


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