The US is now pursuing “alternatives” that involve the use of “some force” against Assad.
Though violence in Syria has been escalating faster than it has for several years, it’s about to get much worse. Today, Reuters reported that the United States is expected to suspend diplomatic cooperation with Russia over the Syria crisis due to Syria and Russia’s intense bombing campaign against militant-held parts of Aleppo. The information came from US officials who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity. The news came 24 hours after US Secretary of State, John Kerry, issued an ultimatum to Russia, warning Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to stop bombing Aleppo or risk an end to all cooperation and diplomacy with Russia. Despite this news, Russia’s Ministry of Defense has maintained that they are ready for the Syria dialogue to continue, but only if US threats against their military end. This conflicts slightly with the words of the Russian UN ambassador three days ago, who said that peace in Syria is now almost impossible due to the US’ arming of the Al Qaeda-affiliated Al-Nusra Front.
The same anonymous US officials later told Reuters that they are now pursuing non-diplomatic “alternatives” to end the Russia-backed Syrian government’s bombing of rebel-held areas in Aleppo, including military options. Discussions of a military intervention are being held at the “staff level” as the US must officially announce an end to diplomatic cooperation with Russia before Obama can order military action against Assad. However, military action against Assad is what Obama has wanted all along as it is no coincidence that Syria’s 5.5 year civil war began soon after Obama declared “Assad must go!” The US officials also said that a failure to maintain US-Russia diplomacy in Syria would leave Obama no choice but to choose from “tougher options,” nearly all of which involve “some use of force.” One of these “tougher options” being considered is a US air strike on an Assad air base, which the US already did “by accident” less than two weeks ago during a ceasefire. An intentional airstrike against the Syria military would undoubtedly lead Assad to declare war against the US. US officials assured, however, that no decision was imminent as Obama and other senior officials would be in Israel this weekend to attend the funeral of a former Israeli president.
For Obama’s administration, the time to act will be sooner rather than later. The collapse in US-Russia diplomacy is motivated by the success of the Syrian and Russian bombings against militants in Aleppo. The effectiveness of the campaign has caught the Obama administration “off guard,” according to US officials, and Obama cannot allow Assad to reclaim control of Aleppo. Returning Aleppo, Syria’s largest and most important city, to Syria’s government would deal a devastating blow to the rebels and would empower Assad and Russia to banish the last strongholds of the rebels and ISIS from their country. Obama cannot let this happen as his goal is to remove Assad from power, which is why his administration began arming the rebels that have caused the civil war in the first place. Obama must respond soon in order to save the militants in which he has invested so much. Without those militants, the US cannot have the regime change in Syria it needs in order to secure the construction of a gas pipeline for US allies, the real reason for Syria’s civil war.
Any US response against Syria’s government that uses military force is a recipe for disaster. Any US attack on the Syrian military that is not “accidental” will undoubtedly trigger a global war. Syria will have no choice but to declare war on the US in the event of a US airstrike or other attack against them. Due to Syria’s mutual defense agreement with Iran, Iran must also declare war on the US. Russia and China have both said on numerous occasions that an attack on Iran as well as on Syria would be considered direct threats to their national security. Is the US ready to go to war with Russia, China, Iran, and Syria in order to protect ISIS-linked and Al Qaeda-backed radical militants in Aleppo? Obama may be, but will the American people support him?
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