Is the US and Its Allies Preparing to Bomb Syria? Towards a “No Fly Zone” in Northern Syria?

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Are the U.S. France and Britain preparing to launch  punitive airstrikes against Syria in reprisal for another (forthcoming) “false flag” Chemical Weapons attack allegedly ordered by president Bashar al Assad against his own people. 

U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton is reported to have told his Russian counterpart, Nikolai Patrushev, that “Syrian President Bashar al-Assad may be preparing to use chemical weapons to recapture the northwestern province of Idlib from rebels.”

On August 22, at a press conference in Jerusalem,  John Bolton, Trump’s (“Humanitarian”) National Security Adviser expressed his “concern” intimating that Assad is preparing to “kill his own people”:

“We are obviously concerned about the possibility that Assad may use chemical weapons again, …

if the Syrian regime uses chemical weapons, we will respond very strongly and they really ought to think about this a long time before they come into any decision, because there is no ambiguity in the U.S. position on this point.”

Screen Shot, UPI, August 22, 2018

Is another false flag CW attack on the drawing board of the Pentagon?

It’s intent (according to Bolton) would be to provide legitimacy to a US and allied “humanitarian” bombing, i.e. “Responsibility to Protect”, i.e. “war with a human face”.

Apart from acknowledging Bolton’s statement, the Western media (with the exception of a report by Germany’s Deutsche Welle) have remained silent regarding the details of the alleged false flag CW scenario which were revealed by Russia’s Ministry of Defense:

“Foreign specialists” have arrived in Syria and may stage a chemical attack using chlorine in “the next two days,” the Russian Defense Ministry said. This will be filmed for international media to frame Damascus forces.

Defense Ministry Spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov said the operation is planned to unfold in the village of Kafr Zita in Syria’s northwestern Hama Province in “the next two days.”

Konashenkov said that “English-speaking specialists” are already in place to use “poisonous agents.” While a group of residents from the north has been transported to Kafr Zita and is currently being prepared “to take part in the staging of the attack” and be filmed suffering from supposed “‘chemical munitions’ and ‘barrel bombs’ launched by the Syrian government forces.”

The groups of residents will be used to assist “fake rescuers from the White Helmets.” They will be filmed apparently suffering from the effects of chemical weapons and then be shown in “the Middle Eastern and English-language media.”

The defense ministry earlier warned that the US, UK, and France are preparing to use the planned attack as a pretext for airstrikes against Syria. The USS The Sullivans, an Arleigh Burke-class Aegis guided missile destroyer, was already deployed to the Persian Gulf a couple of days ago.  (RT, August 26, 2018)

The above report remains to be corroborated or refuted. The Western media has remained silent. It has not taken the trouble (with a couple of exceptions) to report or challenge the statement of the Russian Defense Ministry.

The unspoken truth is that the US and its allies including Israel are largely intent upon sabotaging the peace process in Syria.

What Next?

Now that the details concerning the alleged false flag CW operation have been revealed, the question is whether the US and its allies will go ahead with the punitive bombing raid against Syria.

Russia’s Response

“We warned the Americans and their allies against taking new reckless steps in Syria,” said Russia’s deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov,

According to Tass (August 25) Russia has responded with major naval deployments:

“The Black Sea Fleet’s frigates Admiral Grigorovich and Admiral Essen armed with Kalibr cruise missiles will join the Russian Navy’s Mediterranean task force, the Fleet’s press office reported on Saturday.

“The Black Sea Fleet’s frigates Admiral Grigorovich and Admiral Essen are making a planned passage from Sevastopol to the Mediterranean Sea. Currently, the warships’ crews are passing through the Black Sea’s Bosphorus and Dardanelles Straits,”

These developments are of strategic significance.

The Russia-Turkey relationship has facilitated the routine deployment of Russia’s Black Sea fleet out of Sevastopol in Crimea through the Bosphorus into the Eastern Mediterranean. From Russia’s perspective, the naval integration of the Black Sea and the Eastern Mediterranean constitutes a major turning point which also affects the deployment of NATO naval forces in the Black Sea out of Romania and Bulgaria.

We are dealing with a geopolitical shift: With Ankara siding with Moscow, the Russian Federation has regained control over the Black Sea Basin.

The Kurdish YPG Supported by the US

The US has largely been supportive of Al Qaeda affiliated rebels as well the Kurdish YPG militants which have been fighting Turkish forces in Northern Syria. Back in January, “The White House said Trump had urged Erdogan to curtail the military operation in Syria, while Turkey said Erdogan had told Trump that U.S. troops should withdraw from Manbij.” (Reuters, January 24, 2018)

Both governments agreed in January to remain in “close coordination” to “avoid misunderstandings”.

About Turn: In recent developments, Washington has reaffirmed its support for the YPG (against Turkey) in defiance of the January understanding with Ankara “to collaborate”. In turn, Russia and Turkey are coordinating their actions in Syria against the US supported Kurdish YPG.

On August 25, a senior official of the State Department William Roebuck traveled to Manbij and Ayn al-Arab in  Kobani close to the border with Turkey (see map). “He also visited Dayr al-Zawr Province which is held by US-backed Kurdish militants.” (Press TV, August 26, 2018)

“We are prepared to stay here, as the president (Donald Trump) has made clear,”

He was referring to more than 2,000 US and allied troops deployed in territories in Northeast Syria under Kurdish YPG control. (Press Tv, 25 August 2018).

On Saturday, Kurdish media reported that the US had installed advanced radar systems in its bases at the Ayn al-Arab military airport and the town of Rmelan in Hasakah Province.

Quoting an informed source at the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a US-backed coalition of Kurdish militants, the report said the systems are meant to create a no-fly zone in northeastern Syria.

The source also said the US had recently sent additional weapons and ammunition for SDF militants in the southern countryside of Hasakah (see map below). (Press Tv, August 25, 2018)

 

US military deployments in Northeastern Syria are in practice (not officially) also directed against Turkey, with a view to creating a separate Kurdish proxy state in Northern Syria.

“The no fly zone” appears to be modelled on that imposed on Iraq in the wake of the 1991 Gulf War, allegedly to protect Kurds in Norther Iraq.

But in this case the US zone of influence is on Turkey’s door step, the No Fly Zone extends to Turkey’s border.

While Turkey has established an alliance of convenience with Russia and Iran (both of which are involved militarily in Syria), the US and Turkey are potentially on a “Collision Course” which could lead to a broader war.

When Allies Confront Allies

Needless to say, NATO is in disarray with the US, France and Britain confronting Turkey (which is also a NATO member state) in the Syria war theater.

 


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About the author:

Michel Chossudovsky is an award-winning author, Professor of Economics (emeritus) at the University of Ottawa, Founder and Director of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), Montreal, Editor of Global Research.  He has taught as visiting professor in Western Europe, Southeast Asia, the Pacific and Latin America. He has served as economic adviser to governments of developing countries and has acted as a consultant for several international organizations. He is the author of eleven books including The Globalization of Poverty and The New World Order (2003), America’s “War on Terrorism” (2005), The Global Economic Crisis, The Great Depression of the Twenty-first Century (2009) (Editor), Towards a World War III Scenario: The Dangers of Nuclear War (2011), The Globalization of War, America's Long War against Humanity (2015). He is a contributor to the Encyclopaedia Britannica.  His writings have been published in more than twenty languages. In 2014, he was awarded the Gold Medal for Merit of the Republic of Serbia for his writings on NATO's war of aggression against Yugoslavia. He can be reached at [email protected]

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