Just days after bilateral talks on Syria broke down between Russia and the U.S., the Russians are warning the Obama administration to think twice about attacking Bashar Al Assad’s Syrian troops, many of whom are fighting alongside Russia’s own troops.
Igor Konashenkov, Russia’s Defense Ministry Major General, told reporters, “I would like to remind the American strategists that the air cover for the Russian bases in Khmeimim and Tartus is provided by the S-400 and S-300 anti-aircraft systems.” Going further, the Russian general emphasized those anti-aircraft weapons systems have what he called a surprising range. He also said any “unidentified” aircraft fired upon would not necessitate a landline call to the U.S. military for confirmation. Those weapons systems have the capability to down not only fighter jets, but drones, and cruise missiles as well.
Russia’s warning to the U.S. comes amid a published report by the Washington Post that the U.S. is considering striking Assad’s forces inside Syria, instead of using its proxy fighting force of largely Sunni rebel forces to do so. Russia’s promise it will fire on unidentified aircraft also comes less than a month since the U.S. bombed and killed 62 Syrian troops in the eastern province of Deir al-Zour.
The U.S. said the bombing of Syrian troops was a mistake, but as The Free Thought Project reported, the Syrians claim to have an audio recording proving the U.S. knew it was attacking Syrian troops in an attempt to protect ISIS troops who had been surrounded. Russia and the Syrian government have long contended the U.S. is working with ISIS to effect regime change in Syria.
“The Syrian government puts all the responsibility for the aggression on the US, as the facts show that it was a deliberate attack, but not a mistake – even if America says the opposite,” Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem said at the U.N. General Assembly last week. Muallem added the bombing “proves that the US and its allies are accomplices of Islamic State and other terror groups.”
Bashar Al Assad and the Syrian government are supported not only by Russia and Iran, but also by another superpower, China. Weighing those facts alone may lead many to question how the Obama administration can logically conclude it even has the slightest chance at overthrowing Assad. So what’s it all about one might ask. It may really be all about gas, natural gas specifically.
As Robert F. Kennedy Jr. wrote for Politico, the war in Syria is really a fight over natural gas, who should control it, and who will profit from it. In 2009, Assad rejected the Qatar-Turkey pipeline, a natural gas pipeline proposed to pass through Syria. Had the pipeline been completed, the Russians would no longer have been able to sell 80 percent of its supply of natural gas to Europe.
Kennedy wrote, “Secret cables and reports by the U.S., Saudi and Israeli intelligence agencies indicate that the moment Assad rejected the Qatari pipeline, military and intelligence planners quickly arrived at the consensus that fomenting a Sunni uprising in Syria to overthrow the uncooperative Bashar Assad was a feasible path to achieving the shared objective of completing the Qatar/Turkey gas link. In 2009, according to WikiLeaks, soon after Bashar Assad rejected the Qatar pipeline, the CIA began funding opposition groups in Syria. It is important to note that this was well before the Arab Spring-engendered uprising against Assad.”
Unfortunately, the U.S., in its flagrant and irresponsible creation of the world’s largest military, cares not about starting actual world wars in their attempts to enrich their corporate masters.
When the chickens come home to roost, however, the result of such belligerent foreign policy will be death and destruction — on a massive scale.