Tick-Tock, Time’s Up: What Will Syria Do?

The US and its allies have lost all their patience after Syria hasn’t shown any sincere willingness to make progress on the Russian-led peace process, with these hostile forces interpreting Damascus’ “dilly-dallying” as indefinitely prolonging Iran & Hezbollah’s military role in the country and therefore triggering Washington to order the latest audacious chemical weapons false flag attack as a means of ratcheting up the pressure on all of them to an unprecedented degree.

It should be obvious that the latest chemical weapons incident in Syria is a false flag carried out by the “White Helmets” at the behest of their foreign patrons and in order to help the terrorists, especially seeing as how Russia has warned about exactly this scenario all throughout the past month and even discovered several chemical weapons laboratories in the recently liberated suburbs of Damascus which prove that the “rebels” have developed the means of implementing it.

Anti-Iran More Than Anti-Assad

Like the author wrote at the beginning of March, “The Planned Chemical Weapons False Flag In Syria Is More About Iran Than Regime Change”, meaning that the US doesn’t care as much about who presides over Syria as it does about whether that person allows Iran and Hezbollah to indefinitely retain a military presence in the country.

The US lost control of the Syrian peace process following Russia’s decisive anti-terrorist intervention and the January 2017 commencement of the Moscow-led Astana talks, but it continued to exert pressure on Damascus with the hope of influencing these negotiations and guiding them in the direction of Washington’s desired anti-Iranian end.

After spending billions of dollars waging the Hybrid War of Terror on Syria and dedicating untold numbers of “deep state” operatives to this campaign, the US is obsessed with having at least something to show for what it did, and that’s why there’s no way that it or its allies will ever tone down their destabilization attempts until they at least yield one “face-saving” outcome to “justify” their inevitable strategic drawdown.

That “solution”, of course, is the removal of Iran & Hezbollah from the country, and for as close as Russia is with the Islamic Republic nowadays, its savvy strategists seem to be indirectly “playing along” with this scenario out of the anticipation that it would allow Moscow to more efficiently “balance” the Mideast (and possibly further beyond in Eurasia) if it succeeds.

Damascus’ “Dilly-Dallying”

It needs to be reminded at this point that Russia’s military mission in Syria was always to fight terrorism and prevent the collapse of the state, not to support President Assad personally or the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) more generally, let alone their Iranian and Hezbollah allies.

President Putin’s declaration that Daesh has been militarily defeated, as well as his decision to withdraw most of the Russian forces from the country, was made in order to signify that Moscow is largely done with the military phase of the conflict and is laser-focused on the subsequent diplomatic one of reaching a so-called “political solution” per UNSC Res. 2254’s mandated “constitutional reform” and “new elections”.

As the saying goes, the “devil’s in the details”, and it surely is when it comes to Syria, but Damascus hasn’t expressed any sincere desire to make progress on this Russian-led process and has instead been “dilly-dallying” due to what is likely the misplaced (and possibly Iranian-influenced) hope that a more “opportune” moment will arrive whereby it can succeed in its “maximalist” (but legally and morally justifiable) objective of literally liberating “every inch” of Syria like President Assad once famously promised.

This would entail defeating all “rebel” groups in the country; removing the “Israelis’”, Turks, and Americans; and retaining the country’s existing constitutionally unitary status without conceding any “decentralization” to the Amero-Zionist Kurds.

Reluctant Russia

Russia wants no part in any of this, or at least to the extent where it would have to do anything significant in a military sense to make it happen, hence why it’s silently drawn the red line by removing most of its forces from Syria and emphasizing the need for a “political solution”.

Without Russian assistance, this goal is utterly impossible under the present conditions, as the SAA and its Iranian & Hezbollah allies aren’t powerful enough to make this happen, especially not after the US proved its eagerness to disproportionately respond to any supposed violation of the so-called “deconfliction zone” during the Disaster at Deir ez-Zor in February.

Up until recently, the US hoped that the Russian-led Astana talks (in which Moscow and Ankara are the main players while Tehran largely sits on the sidelines) could advance the end goal of removing Iranian & Hezbollah forces from Syria, though Damascus hasn’t wanted to “play ball”, nor has it expressed any willingness to “compromise” on its “maximalist” stance of constitutional unity, once again to the Americans’ chagrin.

Caught Off Guard

Instead of the relatively “smooth” conclusion to the conflict that the US may have implicitly wanted to see Russia reach lately as a prerequisite for beginning talks on a “New Detente”, the whole process has become much more complicated because of Damascus’ “obstinance”, which was completely unexpected from both Washington and Moscow’s viewpoints.

The US wrongly believed that Syria was Russia’s “puppet state”, while Russia was under the false impression that Syria would “follow its lead” because it “owes it” for “saving the country”, though the Syrians are a fiercely proud people who are known for doing whatever they want if they truly believe in it even if they “go it alone” and defy everyone’s expectations (for better or for worse).

The deeply-rooted patriotism that runs through the blood of most Syrians and was supercharged throughout the past seven years of insufferable warfare made it difficult for President Assad to accept anything less than a total victory if he wanted to remain domestically “credible”, and just as the Russians “get around” not protecting the SAA and their Iranian & Hezbollah allies by pointing to the exact details of their military agreement, so too does Damascus basically do the same by emphasizing the same words to prove that it has no obligation to follow Moscow’s “decentralization” and other such “suggestions”.

Time’s Up

The US has been observing this dynamic for some time, but its patience must have finally ran out following reports that President Assad flat-out refused to attend the latest Tripartite Summit in Ankara likely because of his Syrian Patriotism, which — if true — inadvertently sent the signal that he’s no longer interested in what his government has essentially at this point been treating as a big diplomatic charade designed to “buy time” until the “golden opportunity” to “win it all back” arrives, something that isn’t going to happen because Russia won’t ever help him with that.

The clock was ticking for a while now but the countdown is over and the US is tired of waiting around and holding off on its preplanned false flag chemical weapons escalation since it hasn’t received any political “benefits” for doing so, especially after “missing the chance” to further “humiliate” Russia by staging this provocation on the eve of last month’s elections like many people expected.

The only reason why the US didn’t do that is because it still thought that Russia had enough “influence” (or one could cynically say, “leverage”) to “convince” President Assad to go to Ankara and reach a groundbreaking deal that would add credence to the concept that Moscow could “get the job done” and make Damascus “jump onboard” with whatever it wants, which Washington undoubtedly expected would eventually move the conflict to the point of discussing the withdrawal of Iranian and Hezbollah units.

The Ankara Summit came and went but President Assad never made the appearance that the Russians might have assured the Americans that he’d do, hence why the US vengefully went forward with its chemical weapons false flag scenario to build the unbelievable pretext for possibly striking the SAA once again just like it did almost exactly one year ago to this day, which to also remind the reader was when Russia “stood down” and didn’t fire at any of the cruise missiles because it wanted to avoid a larger war.

Now, however, time is definitely up, and the US isn’t going to wait and see whether Russia’s diplomatic “balancing” act succeeds unless something drastic happens in the immediate future to convince Washington that it can gain more by “barking but not biting” than if it executed a redux of April 2017 by hitting the SAA yet again, possibly even worse than it did last year during its largely symbolic but militarily insignificant attack.

The “Last-Minute Solution”

Just like Russia arranged a last-minute deal in 2013 to disarm Syria of its chemical weapons in order to avoid a “shock and awe” strike, so too might it seek to do the same this time around, albeit in getting Damascus to rapidly reduce Iran and Hezbollah’s military presence in the Arab Republic.
Given that the US will probably coordinate with Russia just like it purportedly did last time via the “deconfliction mechanism” in order to avoid injuring Moscow’s remaining military forces in the battlespace, it’s unlikely that Russia will carry through on the conditional yet highly publicized and mostly misunderstood threat to shoot down any American missiles and/or target their launching pads (including ships), so Syria will probably have little choice but to finally follow Russia’s “suggestion” of a “last-minute solution” or face the wrathful American consequences for refusing.

Furthermore, there’s nothing guaranteeing that any forthcoming strike would be a unilateral American one either, since it’s very possible that the UK, France, and even “Israel” might join in as well, with the latter potentially even taking the lead in order to ensure that Russia definitely wouldn’t “interfere” because of the tacit “alliance” between Moscow and Tel Aviv.

Concluding Thoughts

All speculation about the future aside, the fact of the matter is that the latest chemical weapons false flag attack occurred at this specific moment in time and not earlier (such as right before or on the Russian elections) because the clock of American patience has finally run out on President Assad and Washington is fed up with Damascus’ “dilly dallying” after the Syrian leader reportedly rejected what would have otherwise been his game-changing attendance at the recent Tripartite Summit in Ankara.

Convinced (whether rightly or wrongly) that Syria will not follow Russia’s “suggestions” to “compromise” and believing that this might be part of an “Iranian plan”, the US and its allies decided to set into motion yet another preplanned escalation designed to put maximum pressure on President Assad and the SAA, hoping that this can also get Russia to “twist his arm” and tangibly enforce his “compliance” with the peace process in order for both parties to “save face” and avoid the “humiliation” of once again supposedly (key word) having no real choice other than accepting yet another American cruise missile strike or possibly worse.

By Andrew Korybko
Source: Eurasia Future


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