Russia’s intervention has changed the dynamic in Syria and the region with potential global implications. Washington is reeling, stumped about what to do next.
Kerry’s Friday power play meeting with his Russian, Turkish and Saudi counterparts in Vienna changed nothing. Nor will other discussions he plans. Russia and Washington agree to disagree. Putin’s arm won’t be twisted.
At Syria’s request, he’s waging real war on ISIS with devastating effectiveness – polar opposite Obama’s war on Syrian infrastructure targets, supporting ISIS and other terrorists, using them as regional foot soldiers with plans to employ them in Russia, Central Asia and China.
In over a year of US bombing Syria and Iraq, zero ISIS targets were struck – infrastructure and other government ones only in both countries.
Baghdad took note. For weeks, reports suggested its government might ask Russia for help. It’s getting none from America, its enemy, not ally in its war on terrorism.
In September 2014, Obama said:
“I want to be clear: the American forces that have been deployed to Iraq do not and will not have a combat mission. I will not commit (US forces) to fighting another ground war in Iraq.” At the same time, he pledged to strike ISIS terrorists “wherever they exist.”
He lied on both counts. His Iraqi strategy aims to weaken and balkanize the country into a Kurdish north, Baghdad center and Basra south – thousands of US special forces and air power involved for this purpose.
America’s first acknowledged combat death in Iraq since 2011 showed US forces aren’t there as advisors. The stated mission taking Sgt. Joshua Wheeler’s life, allegedly to rescue hostages held by ISIS, is very much open to question – maybe cover concealing the Pentagon’s ongoing destabilization mission, targeting, not aiding Iraq.
Did ISIS or government forces kill Wheeler? Were other US forces killed or wounded since American combat troops returned to Iraq last year? All Pentagon reports are suspect. None are credible. What’s unrevealed matters most.
On Friday, Defense Secretary Carter lied indicating a more aggressive campaign against ISIS in Iraq. More raids will be conducted, he said. A single one on a terrorist target would be Washington’s first. None were conducted so far.
Instead of challenging reality on the ground, media scoundrels reported the Pentagon’s alleged new strategy as factual – ignoring over a year of US air power doing the opposite of what’s officially claimed.
Are things in Iraq about to change dramatically? On Friday, Turkey’s Anadolu (News) Agency (AA) headlined “Russia receives authorization to strike inside Iraq,” saying:
The Iraqi government authorized Russia to target Daesh convoys coming from Syria, a senior Iraqi official said.
The authorization for Russia to target Daesh inside Iraq comes amid security coordination between Iraq, Russia, Iran and Syria.
Hakem al-Zamli, chief of the Iraqi parliament’s security and defense committee, told Anadolu Agency on Friday that the measure contributed to weakening Daesh by cutting off its supply routes.
Russia, an ally of the Assad regime, began carrying out airstrikes in Syria on Sept. 30. According to the Kremlin, the strikes are aimed at weakening the Daesh militant group, an avowed enemy of the regime.
It remains to be seen if AA’s report is accurate. US Joint Chiefs Chairman Joseph (“Fighting Joe) Dunford made a hurried trip to Baghdad, claiming Iraq “doesn’t want Russia’s help.”
Washington is its main ally, he said, warning Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and Defense Minister Khaled al-Obeidi – telling them:
(I)t would make it very difficult for us to be able to provide the kind of support you need if the Russians were here conducting operations as well. We can’t conduct operations if the Russians were operating in Iraq right now.
In early October, Abadi said he’d “welcome” Russian support, saying he’d gotten little from Washington. He now faces a choice – accept vitally needed Moscow help or continue letting US air power and ground forces systematically destroy his country.
A Final Comment
On Friday, Turkey’s Anadolu Agency reported French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius saying his government will submit a new Security Council draft resolution, condemning Assad’s so-called use of “barrel bombs,” as well as “indiscriminate attacks” on civilians.
“We have to ensure that the regime stops bombing the civilian population,” Fabius blustered in Paris – despite no evidence supporting his claim. Washington’s use of ISIS and other takfiri terrorists bears full responsibility.
Fabius also announced foreign ministerial talks in Paris on Syria, planned for October 27 without Russia’s involvement, providing no further information.
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 sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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