“The Road to Tehran Goes Through Damascus”: If Syria Falls, America’s War on Iran Begins?
Trump is continuing the same foreign policy as the Obama Administration on Syria to remove its President, Bashar al-Assad from power. The Trump Administration claims that they are still serious threats of ISIS and other terrorist groups within Syria. Ironically, Trump also claimed in a number of occasions that it was the U.S. that had defeated the terrorists, but in reality it was the pro-Syrian government forces with help from Russia that deserves most of the credit, besides wasn’t it the U.S. who created ISIS and other terrorist groups that devastated Syria in the first place?
However, terrorists are not the only threats according to the U.S. Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson and of course, Trump himself, it is Iran who poses a serious threat to the entire region. Last month, Tillerson delivered a speech at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and made it clear that U.S. troops will remain in Syria not just to fight terrorists, but to prevent Iran from attacking its interests, its main allies and the U.S. military:
And continued strategic threats to the U.S. from not just ISIS and al-Qaida, but from others persist. And this threat I’m referring to is principally Iran.
As part of its strategy to create a northern arch, stretching from Iran to Lebanon and the Mediterranean, Iran has dramatically strengthened its presence in Syria by deploying Iranian Revolutionary Guard troops; supporting Lebanese Hizballah; and importing proxy forces from Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and elsewhere. Through its position in Syria, Iran is positioning to continue attacking U.S. interests, our allies, and personnel in the region. It is spending billions of dollars a year to prop up Assad and wage proxy wars at the expense of supporting its own people
Tillerson also said that
“it is vital for the United States to remain engaged in Syria for several reasons: Ungoverned spaces, especially in conflict zones, are breeding grounds for ISIS and other terrorist organizations.”
Then Tillerson explained why U.S. troops must remain in Syria and that is to ultimately remove President Bashar al-Assad:
Additionally, a total withdrawal of American personnel at this time would restore Assad and continue his brutal treatment against his own people. A murderer of his own people cannot generate the trust required for long-term stability. A stable, unified, and independent Syria ultimately requires post-Assad leadership in order to be successful. Continued U.S. presence to ensure the lasting defeat of ISIS will also help pave the way for legitimate local civil authorities to exercise responsible governance of their liberated areas. The departure of Assad through the UN-led Geneva process will create the conditions for a durable peace within Syria and security along the borders for Syria’s neighbors
Syria has been an obstacle to the long anticipated war with Iran for both the U.S. and Israel. There has been an economic war on Iran which has been in effect since the Iranian Revolution of 1979 with continued economic sanctions imposed primarily by the U.S. Their main objective is to ultimately turn Iran into another Iraq or Libya making Israel the hegemonic power within the Middle East with its undeclared nuclear weapons arsenal with U.S. support.
With that said, what can justify a US-led war on Syria this time around? Possibly, another false-flag operation using chemical weapons to attack civilians and blame the Syrian government yet again. Officials in the Trump Administration have been reiterating the Syrian government’s “alleged” chemical weapons attacks on civilians since last month with some help from the mainstream-media (MSM). On February 2nd, U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis answered a series of questions at a press conference, one of the questions (which does sound scripted in my opinion) was on Assad’s use of chemical weapons,
“Just make sure I heard you correctly, you’re saying you think it’s likely they have used it and you’re looking for the evidence? Is that what you said?”
Mattis replied with:
That’s — we think that they did not carry out what they said they would do back when — in the previous administration, when they were caught using it. Obviously they didn’t, cause they used it again during our administration. And that gives us a lot of reason to suspect them. And now we have other reports from the battlefield from people who claim it’s been used.
We do not have evidence of it. But we’re not refuting them; we’re looking for evidence of it. Since clearly we are using — we are dealing with the Assad regime that has used denial and deceit to hide their outlaw actions, okay?
On February 17th, The U.S. National Security Adviser to Trump, H.R. McMaster gave a speech at the Munich Security Conference and said “Public accounts and photos clearly show that Assad’s chemical weapons use is continuing” according to a Reuters article titled ‘Public reports ‘clearly show’ Assad’s use of chemical weapons: McMaster’:
It is time for all nations to hold the Syrian regime and its sponsors accountable for their actions and support the efforts of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons,” he said. McMaster did not specify which public accounts or pictures he was referring to
The December 2017 National Security Strategy (NSS) by the Trump Administration mentions Syria’s “use of chemical weapons against its own citizens” was practically the same narrative used by the Obama administration:
The danger from hostile state and non-state actors who are trying to acquire nuclear, chemical, radiological, and biological weapons is increasing. The Syrian regime’s use of chemical weapons against its own citizens undermines international norms against these heinous weapons, which may encourage more actors to pursue and use them. ISIS has used chemical weapons in Iraq and Syria. Terrorist groups continue to pursue WMD-related materials. We would face grave danger if terrorists obtained inadequately secured nuclear, radiological, or biological material.
In an article published earlier this month by Krishnadev Calamur of The Atlantic ‘Assad Is Still Using Chemical Weapons in Syria: Neither the threat of U.S. action nor an Obama-era agreement appears to deter Bashar al-Assad’, said:
UN investigators are looking into reports the Syrian regime used chemical weapons on at least two rebel-held towns in recent days. The reports mark at least the sixth time the regime of President Bashar Assad has used such weapons against civilian population centers.
The UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria said Tuesday it had received multiple reports “that bombs allegedly containing weaponized chlorine have been used in the town of Saraqeb in Idlib and Douma in eastern Ghouta”
Jean Pascal Zanders, head of The Trench said that Syria’s compliance to completely eliminate chlorine from its chemical weapons list has failed because purified water is considered part of the “non-weapons” applications process according to the article:
The chemical attacks keep coming despite an Obama-era agreement with Russia, struck in 2013, on the destruction of Assad’s chemical weapons. Under that deal, Syria agreed to eliminate its chemical-weapons stockpile. News reports at the time said Syria had 1,000 tons of chemical weapons, including mustard gas, sarin, and VX, the nerve agent. International inspectors say Syria has largely destroyed the stockpiles it said it had—though there continue to be complaints about the pace of Syria’s compliance. But that agreement did not include chlorine because the Assad regime hadn’t added it to a list it submitted to international monitors of the chemical weapons it possessed. The most recent attacks were all reportedly chlorine-based.
Jean Pascal Zanders, who heads The Trench, an organization that studies disarmament and security issues, told me that part of the problem is that chlorine has non-weapons applications like purifying water. He said he believes that Assad’s use of chlorine “probably started as an opportunistic use of a toxic chemical. … Then later on, a more dedicated production system was set up particularly with respect to designing barrel bombs and other types of projectiles to disseminate chlorine in larger quantities.” Although chlorine wasn’t included on the Syrian list given to inspectors, the use of chlorine-based weapons is still a violation of Syria’s commitment to the chemical weapons convention
Calamur referenced Jeffrey Goldberg’s article from last April who also writes for The Atlantic said that Assad still has weapons that contains sarin gas in his possession:
The “deal to disarm Assad of his chemical weapons was a failure,” Jeffrey Goldberg wrote in The Atlantic last April, after Assad was accused of using sarin gas against civilians in an attack that prompted retaliation from the Trump administration. “It was not a complete failure, in that stockpiles were indeed removed, but Assad kept enough of these weapons to allow him to continue murdering civilians with sarin gas. The argument that Obama achieved comprehensive WMD disarmament without going to war is no longer, as they say in Washington, operative”
Goldberg also said that Assad “kept enough” chemical weapons to continue the massacre of civilians. Goldberg also said that the Obama Administration resisted striking the Assad government directly after he allegedly ordered the use of chemical weapons in August 2013 in the populated areas of Ghouta:
Obama’s policy toward Syria will perhaps be best remembered for his failure to enforce his metaphorical “red line” on the use of chemical weapons. When Assad used sarin against civilians in August 2013, Obama, who had resisted striking Assad directly, opted instead for the deal with Russia on Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile. But when last April Assad used sarin gas again, Trump showed little hesitation in using force in reply. That strike—and the threat of the use of more force—has not stopped the chlorine attacks, however.
Much has changed in Syria since last April’s U.S. military strike on Assad’s forces: for one, ISIS has been defeated; as a result, Assad is more firmly in charge of many of the country’s major population centers, though with Russian and Iranian support. As the international community tries to negotiate an end to the Syrian conflict, Assad’s use of conventional weapons on civilian targets such as hospitals and residential neighborhoods is also a priority. Those attacks have killed hundreds of thousands of people.
As a reminder, an article by The Daily Mail titled ‘UN accuses Syrian rebels of carrying out sarin gas attacks which had been blamed on Assad’s troops’ quoted what senior United Nations official Carla Del Ponte said in regards to the 2013 sarin gas attack on civilians which was blamed on the Syrian government by the U.S. and the U.K.:
‘Our investigators have been in neighbouring countries interviewing victims, doctors and field hospitals, and there are strong, concrete suspicions, but not yet incontrovertible proof, of the use of sarin gas,’ said Del Ponte in an interview with Swiss-Italian television.
‘This was use on the part of the opposition, the rebels, not by the government authorities’
The U.S., Israel and Saudi Arabia want Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad removed from power by force even if it means creating more chaos right up to the borders of Iran. Syria has over 2,000 U.S. troops stationed in its territory, adding Israel’s aggression in recent years is a sign that another war is surely on the table. With pro-Syrian Government forces still intact and Hezbollah (who defeated Israel in the last conflict) has its own weapons arsenal adding Russia’s full support of the Assad government, the U.S., Israel and Saudi Arabia are headed towards a no-win situation if they decided to attack Syria, Hezbollah, Lebanon and Iran at the same time. It would be the equivalent to committing suicide.
The Trump Administration and the MSM are again reminding the world that Assad still has chemical weapons that can be used against his own citizens on any given moment for a reason. There can be the possibility of another false-flag operation coordinated by the U.S. military and the CIA that will use their experienced terrorist networks (who have used chemical weapons on civilians in the past) such as newly created Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) also known as the former Jabhat al-Nusra who are allies of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) to launch another chemical attack to blame the Assad government. For Washington it can justify an all-out war on Syria to help save its civilians from the “butcher of Damascus.” I could imagine Trump tweeting “We Told You So” if a false-flag attack were to take place.
For U.S. and Israeli war planners, a strike on Iran cannot possibly happen until Syria and Hezbollah is taken out of the equation. They very well know that attacking Iran will be a huge task. The U.S. and Israel would not be able to fight a united front against Syria, Hezbollah, Lebanon, Iran, Russia and even China in a regional conflict. The next war on Syria is to remove or murder Assad. If successful, it would destabilize Syria, then the U.S. and Israel would most likely set their sights on Hezbollah then eventually Lebanon before they can attempt any attack on Iran, but then again, with Russia and China backing Iran, it would still be an extremely difficult situation for the U.S. and its allies.
Trump did give the U.S. military a free hand to do whatever is necessary to achieve their main objectives. In regards to the Middle East, let’s hope that generals who are in charge of the U.S. military stationed in the region do not have the same mindset as General Buck Turgidson and Brigadier General Jack D. Ripper from the 1964 film Dr. Strangelove who would have done anything to go to war with the Soviet Union during the Cold War including the use of a false-flag operation for the glory of the empire. Unfortunately, a war on Syria will most likely take place during the Trump Administration and that will eventually lead to World War III like many of us in the alternative media has been warning about for years.
By Timothy Alexander Guzman
Source: Silent Crow News