Middle East: Will there be a regime change in Syria?
-Dr. Abdul Ruff
Anyone who follows the crisis in Middle East and role USA-Russia-Israel trio plays in destabilizing the region , would say the talks of régime change in Syria is a big joke.
Syria's six-year civil war has claimed the lives of at least 500,000, according to a United Nations estimate released a year ago. More than 5 million Syrians have fled the country and more than 6 million more have been displaced internally, according to UN agencies.
The United States launched a military strike Thursday on a Syrian government airbase in response to a chemical weapons attack that killed dozens of civilians earlier in the week. On President Donald Trump's orders, US warships launched 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at the airbase that was home to the warplanes that carried out the chemical attacks, US officials said. Six people were killed in the airstrike, according to a televised statement by the Syrian's Armed Forces General Command. Russia condemned the strike as an "act of aggression," and Assad's office Friday called it "a disgraceful act" that "can only be described as short-sighted." Trump said “There can be no dispute that Syria used banned chemical weapons, violated its obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention and ignored the urging of the UN Security Council. Years of previous attempts at changing Assad's behavior have all failed and failed very dramatically."
Briefing reporters late Thursday night, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that the strike did not represent a "change in our policy or our posture in Syria," even though it marked the first time the US had decided to take military action against the Syrian government.
An initial battle damage assessment from the strike was that 58 of the 59 missiles "severely degraded or destroyed" their intended target. The official cautioned that this is just the earliest assessment using radar and more robust assessments using satellites and other surveillance is still pending.
It targeted aircraft, aircraft shelters, petroleum and logistical storage, ammunition supply bunkers, air defense systems, and "the things that make the airfield operate," Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis told reporters. The missiles were launched from warships in the Eastern Mediterranean. "Initial indications are that this strike has severely damaged or destroyed Syrian aircraft and support infrastructure and equipment at Shayrat Airfield, reducing the Syrian government's ability to deliver chemical weapons," the Pentagon, a close ally of Israel, said in a statement.
After Russian invasion ostensibly to protect the president Assad and his regime, now USA has also attacked Syria with a contradictory purpose of removing Assad. On Apr 6, 2017, USA, one of the “largest” so-called electoral democracies, intentionally bombed a Syrian regime target for the first time since the country’s civil war began in 2011. So far, it has been a limited cruise missile strike targeting one Syrian airbase, causing an as-yet-unknown number of casualties.
Trump's decision marked a dramatic shift in his position on whether the US should take military action against the Syrian President's regime -- which Trump opposed during his campaign for president -- and came after the President was visibly and publicly moved by the images of this week's chemical weapons attack. It represents a substantial escalation of the US military campaign in the region, and could be interpreted by the Syrian government as an act of war.
American palms are socked in Arab and Afghan blood and there is no reason to believe that like Israelis, who intermittently attack Palestinians for their meat, blood and lands, or Indian military that kill Kashmiri Muslims for their blood and meat and lands for military-cum Hindu religious promotional purposes, Americans would ever stop attacks on Muslims for their meat and blood. Known its double speaks in order to confuse the world on what it really intents to do, Trump had said he was not interested in wars or attacking any soverign nations. Till March end, Americans were telling the world that they were not did not interest in regime change in Syria nor would they force Assad to retire or quit the nation. But in April his military attacked Syria.
The decision to attack was a direct reaction to the Syrian regime’s Tuesday gas attack that claimed 85 lives, including about two dozen children. Images of the Syrians who suffocated to death seemed to shock President Trump, who spoke of the “beautiful little babies” killed in the attack, which he described as “an affront to humanity.”
Trump went even further, telling reporters that “something should happen” to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad because of his responsibility for the attack. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, meanwhile, said Assad would have “no role” governing Syria in the future and that “steps are underway” for a US-led international push to remove him. US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said in March that “our priority is no longer to sit there and focus on getting Assad out.” Or take Tillerson himself, who said in late March that “the longer-term status of President Assad will be decided by the Syrian people.” All of that has changed — rapidly. The president who campaigned on an “America first” platform of keeping the US out of conflicts that don’t directly impact core US national security interests has now intervened in Syria’s intractable civil war. And the president who was silent just days ago about Assad’s future is now clearly saying the “dictator” needs to go.
USA justifies all its terror actions. Trump said Assad’s “heinous actions” were a “consequence of the past administration's weakness and irresolution. President Obama said in 2012 that he would establish a 'red line' against the use of chemical weapons and then did nothing.” In a couple of days, Trump was singing a different tune. He said Assad’s gas attack “had a big impact on me,” and that “it’s very possible … that my attitude toward Syria and Assad has changed.”
Like his predecessors, Trump never opened his dirty mouth to denounce the Zionist crimes in Palestine, killing even children. But he, like Netanyahu, talks about Assad’s crimes. "When you kill innocent children, innocent babies, babies, little babies, with a chemical gas that is so lethal, people were shocked to hear what gas it was, that crosses many, many lines, beyond a red line. Many, many lines." Tillerson — without saying so explicitly — implied that the administration would for now basically maintain Obama’s Syria policy, which was predicated on Assad eventually relinquishing power after internationally led diplomatic talks.
For good measure, the secretary of state directed Russia to "consider carefully" its continued support for Assad's government.
Trump and his aides know Russia is not going to change its policies in order to appease Washington.
Trump’s decision to bomb the Assad regime because of its use of chemical weapons is new. This isn’t the Trump of the recent past.
Yet Trump fashions himself a tough guy, one willing to go where his predecessor would not. So far, this means sending US cruise missiles into Syria. This isn’t the America-first stance of Trump’s campaign; it’s the start of something new and uncharted, one that could potentially escalate to a broader US war against Assad.
This is a momentous moment for the United States and Syria. And we have no idea, as of right now, where the super power rivalry drama will lead.
the strikes represented not only an escalation of the US role in Syria, but could have a ripple effect on the US' relations with the Syrian regime's powerful backer, Russia.
Russians were present at the base the US struck, a US defense official said, though the role of those Russians was not immediately known.
Tillerson confirmed that the US military contacted their Russian counterparts about the attack ahead of time, in accordance with deconfliction policies between the US and Russia over military activities in Syria. Russia was given a one-hour notice, according to a senior US official.
Russian President Vladimir Putin described the US airstrikes on Syria as "an act of aggression against a sovereign state" that "dealt a serious blow to Russia-US relations," according to a Kremlin statement. Russia said it believed Syria had destroyed all of its chemical weapons and the US strikes were based on a "far-fetched pretext."
Trump's decision to launch the strikes, the most significant military action of his young presidency, came nearly four years after the US first concluded that Syrian forces had used chemical weapons in Syria.
The Obama administration concluded that Syria had violated the "red line" Obama had set a year earlier in discussing the use of chemical weapons, but ultimately decided against military action against Syria in favor of a Russian-brokered deal to extricate the country's chemical weapons stockpile.
Trump at the time said the US should "stay the hell out of Syria" and urged Obama on Twitter to "not attack Syria" in the wake of the 2013 chemical attack. Trump repeatedly criticized Obama during his presidential campaign for not acting on his "red line" threat, but the real estate mogul also argued against deepening the US' military involvement in Syria, particularly as it related to Assad.
Lawmakers in the USA cautioned the President against unilaterally starting a war without first consulting Congress. A pair of defense hawks -- Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham -- who have frequently been critical of Trump, roundly praised his decision. . “United States will no longer stand idly by as Assad, aided and abetted by Putin's Russia, slaughters innocent Syrians with chemical weapons and barrel bombs," McCain and Graham said in a joint statement. Sen. Rand Paul called on Trump to consult on Congress. "While we all condemn the atrocities in Syria, the United States was not attacked," Paul said. "The President needs congressional authorization for military action as required by the Constitution, and I call on him to come to Congress for a proper debate."
The US began launching airstrikes in Syria in September 2014 under President Barack Obama as part of its coalition campaign against ISIS, but has only targeted the terrorist group and not Syrian government forces.
He argued that the US should remain laser-focused on defeating ISIS and vowed to try and partner with Russia, which has heartily backed Assad's regime, in order to defeat ISIS and bring the conflict to an end.
Those views appeared steeped in his longstanding criticism of the Iraq War, which he called a "stupid" decision, lamenting the billions of dollars funneled toward that war effort instead of on domestic programs, like infrastructure spending.
While Trump rejected the isolationist label some placed on him during the campaign, he made clear that his preference was for limiting the US footprint around the world and refocusing US foreign policy around core national security interests.
On April 11, G-7 foreign ministers ruled out military solution on Syria. Foreign ministers from the Group of Seven (G7), which comprises the U.S., Britain, Germany, France, Italy, Japan and Canada, discussed the crisis with representatives from the European Union and several Middle Eastern countries. Germany and Italy stressed Tuesday the need for a political solution in Syria, where the U.S. has intervened with missile strikes in response to a chemical weapons attack on civilians. “We do not believe that the military solution is the right one,” said Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano, who hosted the talks also involving ministers from Saudi Arabia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Jordan.
The ministers, meeting in the Tuscan town of Lucca, agreed that “Russia must not be isolated and, on the contrary, must insofar as possible be involved in the political transition process in Syria,” Alfano added. While the White House said Monday the U.S. was ready to repeat strikes against Syrian targets to prevent the use of chemical weapons, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson focused on diplomacy in talks with partners, Germany said. “Tillerson explicitly said they are seeking a non-violent, non-military way,” German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel told reporters, praising his U.S. counterpart for taking “a very realistic and clear stance.” The U.S. bombing of Syrian airfield on April 7 in response to the attack in the city of Khan Sheikhoun has confounded expectations that Donald Trump would be an isolationist president, and soured his relations with Russia. Russia, a staunch ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, has condemned US actions as reckless and counterproductive. Iran, another main backer of the regime in Damascus, has expressed similar concerns. The G7 was attempting to put up a united front on Syria ahead of Tillerson’s Wednesday visit to Moscow. Calls Britain made on Monday to threaten Syria and Russia with further sanctions did not seem to make headway. Nevertheless, Gabriel urged Moscow to reconsider its support for al-Assad. “I believe that it is almost inconceivable that Russia wants to stand on the side of such a murderous regime as that of Bashar al-Assad for the long haul,” he said. North Korea’s illegal nuclear programme and the US decision to send warships to the Korean peninsula, ongoing conflicts in Ukraine and Libya, the threat from terrorism and migration were also on the agenda. The Lucca talks were also laying the ground for next month’s G7 summit in Taormina, Sicily, the first to be attended by Trump.
Neither Russia nor USA has entered Syria neither to end the west sponsored terror war in that Arab nation nor to bring peace to Mideast
On the contrary!. None of “interested” parties, USA or Russia or Assad is eager to let Syrians live in peace. Israel is eager to see the region remains tensed. What will they get if West Asia is peaceful?