Editor’s note: We have never been closer to WW3 than we are right now as we await Trump’s strike on Syria and the seemingly inevitable Russian and Syrian reaction to it.
Russia is more than capable of sending a US carrier group to the bottom of the Mediterranean and it may just do so if, as seems highly likely, Russian personnel are among the targets of the US strike.
The insanity of the agenda Trump is following lies in the fact that previous incidents have shown that the US military do not hold any clear advantage and may actually be at a disadvantage in technical terms, meaning should the shooting start, a lot of US servicemen are going to become victims of the insanity.
Last year’s cruise missile attack on Syria was an abject failure as the Russian and Syrian defences were able to shoot down or decoy most of the missiles, then there is the fact that the USS Donald Cook, currently loitering off the Syrian coast is the same ship that had to be towed away from the Crimean coast in 2014 after being disabled by Russian warplanes carrying some new electronic weaponry.
So unless the US military has some new trick up it’s sleeve we don’t know about, it seems highly likely that should Trump strike, it will not go too well and that opens up a whole nasty can of worms as are as escalation of the conflict – if your conventional weapons don’t do the job, then the next step might be to try some tactical nukes and the Russians also have lots of those and the aircraft and missiles to deliver them so the US has no advantage in that area either.
Sadly, there is no-one around Trump who might become a voice of reason and restrain the buffoon from doing what he was put in office to do and this is carry out the orders of a bunch of criminal oligarchs hell-bent on the destruction of Putin and Russia…. Ian Greenhalgh
BEIRUT, LEBANON (11:30 A.M.) – The Syrian and Russian air forces have been conducting a large number of flights along the Syrian coast in response to the U.S.’ latest threat of force against the government in Damascus.
According to a military source in the Latakia Governorate, Syrian and Russian jets have been conducting nonstop flights along Syria’s coast since 6:00 A.M. (Damascus Time), with both air forces sharing the Hmaymim Airport in Jableh.
The source added that the Syrian Air Force has moved several jets to the Russian operated Hmaymim Airport in southwest Latakia.
The reason for the Syrian Air Force moving their jets to the Hmaymim Airport is due to the threat posed by the possible U.S. attack on their military installations.
Similar to the precautionary measures they took before the U.S. attack last year, the Syrian Air Force is attempting to protect their air assets by moving them to the Russian base.
First deputy chairman of the Russian upper house’s Defense Committee, Yevgeny Serebrennikov said Wednesday that Russia will respond immediately if its military in Syria gets hit by a possible US airstrike.
Russia’s Hmeymim airbase and Tartus naval base, as well as Russian servicemen deployed in Syria, are under firm protection as the United States is anticipated to carry out airstrikes in Syria in response to an alleged chemical weapon attack in the city of Douma, Serebrennikov, told Sputnik.
“As the Defense Ministry has already pointed out, the Russian military bases in Hmeymim and Tartus are under firm protection. At the same time, we expect that in the event of US strikes, if any, the lives of our servicemen will not be in danger. I think that the United States understands this and will not allow it, because otherwise, Russia’s response will be immediate, as the chief of the Russian General Staff has said,” Serebrennikov said.
Last week, several Syrian opposition online media outlets reported, citing militants that the Syrian Army had used chlorine in the town of Douma and killed up to 70 people.
Following the reports, a number of states, including the US, accused Damascus of staging the attack. Furthermore, the United States said that it was considering all potential options in response to it.
According to the website Flight Aware, two Middle East Airlines (national airline of Lebanon) flights are expected to fly over Syria, despite the warnings form the EASA.
One of the MEA flights is scheduled to fly to the Saudi Arabian city of Madina and another is bound for Dubai; these two airplanes are the only known flights that will be using Syrian airspace in the next few hours.
The Syrian Air Defense is currently on high alert, as they await the U.S.’ decision on whether or not they will attack.
Can Trump be arrested quickly enough to save America from nuclear retaliation by Russia and China?
As the situation in Syria continues to escalate, US President Donald Trump has promised a “forceful” response to the alleged chemical attack in the town of Douma, located in the Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta.
“We have a lot of options militarily,” he told reporters adding that a response would be decided “shortly”.
Earlier, Trump promised “major decisions” after the US figures out who was responsible for the alleged attack in Douma — Russia, or Syria, or Iran, or “all of them together.”
During a meeting of the UN Security Council US envoy Nikki Haley claimed that the US will act against the Assad government with or without the blessing of the UN.
“We are beyond showing pictures of dead babies. We are beyond appeals to conscience. We have reached the moment when the world must see justice done,” Haley said.
“The Russian regime, whose hands are all covered with the blood of Syrian children, cannot be ashamed by pictures of its victims. We’ve tried that before,” she continued adding that “no civilized government would have anything to do with Assad’s murderous regime.”
Does the US leadership really believe that Russia, Iran or Syria may have been interested in conducting a chemical attack in Douma, at the precise moment militants had almost agreed to surrender, in full view of all the mainstream media and Western powers censoriously studying their every step?
This question remains unanswered.
According to media reports, the Pentagon has presented Trump with various military options, such as a cruise missile strike or a massive airstrike on crucial Syrian facilities. According to Reuters, one of the options is the so-called multinational response, i.e. full-scale invasion, which may involve France, the UK and some other US allies.
Meanwhile, the US Navy guided missile destroyer USS Donald Cook, armed with Tomahawk cruise missiles, was reportedly “harassed” by low-flying Russian warplanes in a clear signal of the growing tensions in the region.
Earlier, experts of the Russian Defense Ministry visited the parts of the town of Douma where the alleged chemical attack took place. According to the defense ministry’s statement, no traces of chemical weapons use were found. The Russian military described photos of the chemical attack victims posted by the so-called White Helmets as fake.
Britain and France lead international calls for action against Syria: Allies back Trump as Macron draws a 'red line' over horrific chemical attack
Assad's regime blamed for horrifying chemical attack on rebel-held Douma
Donald Trump has vowed to respond quickly and forcefully to the atrocity
France warned of retaliation if a 'red line' has been crossed with poison attack
Prime Minister Theresa May described the chemical atrocity as 'barbaric'
Britain and France today led growing international momentum for action against the Syrian regime today following Bashar al-Assad's poison gas attack that left dozens dead.
France, under President Emmanuel Macron, warned it would retaliate against the Syrian regime if evidence emerged that the 'red line' of chemical weapons had been crossed in rebel-held Douma.
Britain has also ramped up the pressure on tyrant Assad as Prime Minister Theresa May described the attack as 'barbaric'.
It comes after US President Donald Trump vowed to respond quickly and forcefully to the atrocity that killed at least 60, according to aid agencies, and left men, woman and children gasping for air in scenes that sparked international outrage.
Britain and France led growing international momentum for action against Syria today following Bashar al-Assad's poison gas attack that left dozens dead. Children were among those caught up in the atrocity (pictured)
US President Donald Trump (pictured) vowed to respond quickly and forcefully to the atrocity that killed at least 40 and left men, woman and children gasping for air in scenes that sparked international outrage
France, under Emmanuel Macron (left), warned it would retaliate against the Syrian regime if evidence emerged that the 'red line' of chemical weapons had been crossed in rebel-held Douma. Prime Minister Theresa May (right) described the attack as 'barbaric'
The Syrian government and its ally Russia have denied involvement in any such attack. Russian President Vladimir Putin is pictured today with the director of the Kurchatov nuclear and scientific research institute Mikhail Kovalchuk in Moscow
US Ambassador Nikki Haley accused Russia, under Vladimir Putin (pictured today in Moscow) of having 'the blood of Syrian children' on its hands
Russia said it was planning to propose its own 'transparent and honest' probe at a UN Security Council meeting on Tuesday. Putin (right) is pictured today during a visit to the Kurchatov nuclear and scientific research institute in Moscow
President Trump and his French counterpart have already agreed to coordinate a 'strong, joint response' after talks by telephone.
Mrs May, who spoke to President Macron on Tuesday morning, sidestepped questions about whether Britain would be involved in military action during a visit to Cambridge.
In Damascus, government forces were on high alert in anticipation of a potential Western military strike, according to a war monitor.
'At midnight, the army command put all military positions on alert, including airports and all bases, for a period of 72 hours,' the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Tuesday.
Units were reinforcing positions and preparing themselves for rapid deployment, but troops had not been transferred or withdrawn, according to the Britain-based monitor, which relies on sources in Syria for its information.
Syrian regime forces have categorically denied accusations of using toxic gas including sarin and chlorine in the country's brutal seven-year war.
On Monday, Syria's UN ambassador Bashar al-Jaafari accused Western powers of staging such attacks to justify military action against Damascus.
Jaafari said Washington, Paris, and others were falsely accusing his government of chemical use 'in order to pave the way for an attack on Syria like the US and Britain's criminal aggression against Iraq in 2003.'
Russia's ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said: 'From what we hear now, I am afraid they are looking for a military option, which is very, very dangerous.'
First responders in Douma say more than 40 people died on Saturday after the suspected poison gas attack, which left people wheezing, with discoloured skin, and foaming at the mouth.
Volunteers give aid to children at a hospital following a chemical attack in rebel-held Douma on Saturday
Syrian dictator Bashar Assad, who has been blamed for the chemical attack near Damascus
Moscow, which has backed the Syrian regime's assault on Eastern Ghouta, has said its own investigators already entered Douma and found no trace of chemical use. Russian President Vladimir Putin is pictured, right, today
The US has called for the UN to set up a probe to identify who carried out the alleged gas attack, but Russia could veto if a vote takes place on Tuesday. Putin is pictured today
Douma has faced weeks of regime bombardment and is cut off by the regime, making it extremely difficult for journalists to independently verify the claims.
Reaching sources inside the town is complicated by their patchy access to lines of communication.
United Nations chief Antonio Guterres said Tuesday the UN's chemical weapons watchdog should be granted unfettered access to investigate the reports.
The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons 'should be granted full access, without any restrictions or impediments to perform its activities,' he said.
The OPCW already says it is investigating but that so far only a 'preliminary analysis' had taken place.
Russia said it was planning to propose its own 'transparent and honest' probe at a UN Security Council meeting on Tuesday.
Video playing bottom right...
How Britain could wound Assad: The different weapons and methods which could be employed against the Syrian dictator
Syria invites chemical weapons watchdog to Douma
The Syrian government has invited the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to send a team to investigate allegations of a chemical attack.
The suspected chemical weapons attack late on Saturday killed at least 60 people, with more than 1,000 injured at several sites in Douma, a town near the capital, Damascus, according to a Syrian aid organization.
The Syrian government and its ally Russia have denied involvement in any such attack.
'Syria is keen on cooperating with the OPCW to uncover the truth behind the allegations that some western sides have been advertising to justify their aggressive intentions,' state news agency SANA said, quoting an official source in the Foreign Ministry.
On Monday, Russia and Syria both offered during the U.N. Security Council meeting to take OPCW investigators to Douma. In Tuesday's statement, the government said it was ready to offer all assistance needed for the mission to fulfil its task.
It also called on the mission to operate 'in a full transparent manner and to rely on solid and credible evidence,' the statement cited by state media added. It said the OPCW's experts could be involved, and that Syrian troops would ensure their safety.
Moscow, which has backed the Syrian regime's assault on Eastern Ghouta, has said its own investigators already entered Douma and found no trace of chemical use.
'Fabrications and false stories are being used to find some pretext for the use of military force,' deputy foreign minister Mikhail Bogdanov said.
Russia's UN ambassador on Monday warned that the use of military force against Syria could have 'grave repercussions.'
The Russian defence ministry dismissed footage of attack victims as 'yet another fake,' following Moscow's practice of suggesting that rebels are staging attacks to discredit President Bashar al-Assad's regime, which Russia supports militarily.
The US has called for the UN to set up a probe to identify who carried out the alleged gas attack, but Russia could veto if a vote takes place on Tuesday.
US Ambassador Nikki Haley said the 'world must see justice done', while Trump warned the perpetrators there would be a 'big price to pay.'
She said that America 'is determined to see that the monster who dropped chemical weapons on the Syrian people held to account.'
Nikki Haley told an emergency Monday meeting of the Security Council that Trump is weighing 'important decisions.'Mattis on action against Syria: 'I don't rule out anything'
President Trump hit out at Russia and Iran over the countries' support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad
Syrian films 'missiles flying over country after chemical attack
She says: 'We are on the edge of a dangerous precipice.'
Haley didn't identify the 'monster' but her sharp words appeared aimed at Syrian President Bashar Assad.
She said the Security Council must either discharge its duty 'or demonstrate its utter and complete failure to protect the people of Syria. Either way, the United States will respond.'
Haley hit out at Russia and Iran for 'enabling the Assad regime's murderous destruction.' She also accused Russia of having 'the blood of Syrian children' on its hands.
This morning, China warned against military action with foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang insisting his country was 'opposed to the wanton use of force or threat of force'.
Before a 'comprehensive, impartial and objective investigation' had been conducted into the incident, no party should 'prejudge the results and come to conclusions randomly,' he said.
'Military means will lead us nowhere.'
China depends on the Middle East for its oil supplies but has long taken a back seat in the region's disputes, only recently beginning to expand its role, hosting high-level delegations from both the Syrian government and the opposition.
Video has emerged (pictured) on Twitter apparently showing missiles flying over Lebanon heading in the direction of Syria
Last night, Tehran accused Israel of 'flagrant' aggression in Syria over the air strike, with the Islamic Republic condemning 'strongly the aggression and the air strike by the Zionist regime'. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is pictured on Monday
It consistently says the crisis needs a 'political solution' but has numerous times vetoed UN Security Council measures aimed at addressing the conflict - including an investigation of war crimes in the country.
Trump on Monday met both his cabinet and top generals, saying the US had 'a lot of options militarily' and would decide in the coming days.
In April last year, Trump launched a cruise missile strike against a Syrian air base after a sarin attack the UN later pinned on Assad.
Israel, too, has bombed Syrian military positions, with Damascus and Moscow accusing it of a raid against an airbase in central Syria early Monday.
They said Israel had targeted the T-4 base before dawn with F-15s from Lebanese airspace.
The Observatory said 14 fighters were killed, including Syrian army officers and members of Iranian forces.
Syria and Russia has blamed Israel for the strike on the T-4 military base (pictured) in Homs province, but the country has refused to comment on its possible involvement
Missile strikes on a Syrian air base have left 14 dead hours after Donald Trump warned 'animal' dictator Bashar al-Assad there would be a 'big price to pay' for a horrifying chemical attack that killed dozens of children
Israel has not commented on the strike but did slam the alleged chemical attack on Douma as a 'crime against humanity.'
Iran said seven of its military advisers had been killed and hit out at 'flagrant Zionist aggression'.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said those behind the attacks would 'pay a heavy price,' after rebel-backer Ankara had said it suspected Assad was responsible.
Douma is the last rebel-controlled area in Ghouta, the opposition's former stronghold on the edges of Damascus.
Syria's regime has captured most of Ghouta since February 18 with a ferocious military assault and two negotiated rebel withdrawals.
A third deal was reached for Douma just hours after the reported chemical attack, and a 65-bus convoy of rebels and civilians was evacuated from the town overnight.
Syria's conflict erupted with anti-Assad protests in 2011 but has since evolved into a complex war that has killed 350,000 people.