Military Escalation? Trump Undecided Whether to Go Light or Heavy in Syria

His attack on Syria’s Shayrat airbase looked like prelude for escalated aggression.

According to Bloomberg News, administration officials are undecided on what comes next. National Security Advisor McMaster favors deploying tens of thousands of US ground forces to northern Syria’s Euphrates River Valley.

Trump told Fox News “(w)e’re not going into Syria.” He often says one thing, then goes a different way, so it’s unclear what he’ll do so far.

McMaster favors a greatly increased US military presence in Syria. According to Bloomberg, Defense Secretary Mattis, Joint Chiefs chairman Dunford, and CENTCOM commander Votel oppose the idea.

Chief White House strategist Bannon accused McMaster of wanting to start another Iraq war. Pentagon officials favor escalating conflict in Syria short of full-scale war.

Following his meeting with Rex Tillerson, Sergey Lavrov said they agreed that further US missile or similar attacks on Syria are unacceptable.

Lavrov called the Shayrat strike a US

“provocation. (Tillerson) and I thoroughly discussed the situation and agreed that this should not happen again,” he said.

Lavrov knows his counterpart has no say over America’s imperial agenda – what hawkish administration officials and Pentagon commanders decide.

Separately on Friday, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman General Igor Konashenkov heavily criticized Trump’s aggression, saying:

“According to an established tradition, every violation of international law, especially military aggression on the part of the US against sovereign states, is covered up by the Pentagon by the presence of some ‘indisputable’ evidence of atrocities.” 

“And the more contrived these pseudo-proofs, the more ‘secret’ they are.”

A CNN fake news report claimed US intelligence services intercepted communications between Syrian chemical and military personnel regarding preparations for attacking Khan Sheikhoun with CWs.

No such communications took place. Syria had nothing to do with the April 4 incident. Not according to neocon CIA director Mike Pompeo. He lied, claiming with “high confidence” Assad ordered the attack.

He provided no evidence proving his accusation because none exists. Assad called blaming him and his government a “100 percent fabrication.”

Russia wants an unbiased independent investigation of the Khan Sheikhoun incident, concerned about OPCW involvement.

According to Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov,

“(t)he trust for (its) activity continues to dwindle as (it) ignores obvious facts.”

It’s investigators draw conclusions in advance, he said –

“later impos(ing) (them) on the entire international community as the ultimate truth.”

“(P)ermanent (Security Council) member-states…and other countries such as Iran, Brazil and India should take part in” the investigation. “We will insist on this,” Ryabkov stressed, adding:

“We are very much interested in establishing the truth, and are not interested at all in the gambling the United States, Britain, France and other countries continue for the sake of attaining their geopolitical aims.” 

“We would like inquiries at Khan Shaykhun and the Shayrat base to be made as soon as possible.”

If chemical weapons were present on Syria’s Shayrat airbase, traces will be found. If not, Syria will be absolved of responsibility for what happened.

Washington opposes an independent investigation, knowing it’ll prove Syria had nothing to do with the Khan Sheikhoun CW attack.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

Visit his blog site at

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Articles by: Stephen Lendman

About the author:

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected] His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III." Visit his blog site at Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network. It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.

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