Assessment of the US military attack on Syria

Assessment of the US military attack on Syria

By Chérif AMIR

April 7th, 2017

On the dawn of April 7th, 2017, the Commander in Chief of the United States military, President Donald Trump, gave the orders to his forces to launch 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles targeting the Shayrat Syrian military airfield near the city of Homs.

I have to offer you two kinds of assessments, material and geopolitical or diplomatic:

The first assessment: The material consequence of the attack:

  • Oddly enough, the attack didn’t inflict much damage to the airfield, except five fatalities among the Syrian army and the destruction of a couple of old Mig fighter jets.

  • Another amazing result is that the most strategic target in the airfield which is the runway, suffered only minor damage and is almost intact, this is something unusual with the well-known US precise and merciless attacks during warfare. Take for example the savage bombing of the Serbian Capital Belgrade in 1999, or the indiscriminate bombardment of the Iraqi Capital Baghdad in 2003 during the “Shock & Awe” operations.

The second assessment: The geopolitical or diplomatic consequence of the attack:

  • To begin with, not a single bullet, shell nor missile could be fired on the Syrian land, sea or airspace without a prior consent from the strong man of Syria, the Russian President Vladimir Putin*. He’s the man in control and every military strategist in the United States knows it well.

  • The US President Donald Trump, used to criticize the failed Obama administration’s strategy in fighting terrorism and especially the Islamic State in Mosul, Iraq. During his candidacy, Trump repeated several times that it was a huge mistake to announce to your enemy your intention to attack him and your intention to take action which lead to the change of tactics and positions on the ground of the terrorist group. He even asserted that all the military experts would always advise the “surprise” action. Nevertheless, Trump spent 3 days before carrying the attack on the strategically insignificant Syrian airfield announcing to the media his reverse of policy towards President Bashar Al- Assad and his intention to take a military action against his forces. Now, according to Russian sources the airfield was evacuated hours before the attack because the word spread that the US would attack in the hours to come near the Homs region.

Of course, you are asking yourself why would Vladimir Putin act like, not only betray Assad, but also let the US have a say in the Syrian conflict?!!!

Well, the answer is in Washington, as President Trump is under an immense pressure from his foes (Democrats and Republicans alike) who are trying to undermine his policies and unfortunately managed to put aside two important, emblematic icons in the Trump administration, General Michael Flynn and Stephen Bannon in the early days of his presidency. Obviously, the US is living in a new era of “McCarthyism”, anyone could be accused of contacting the Russians is pointed at by the finger and discharged immediately.

Last week, when the -most probably false flag- chemical attack took place in terrorist occupied region in Syria, Assad was in a matter of hours accused of perpetrating it, although he doesn’t have the substance nor the green light from Moscow to do it, adding to that his excellent military gains thanks to the Russians makes him in no need at all to use such a weaponry. But still, Trump had to act immediately in order to brush away any accusations claiming that he didn’t insist on getting rid of Assad and sought cooperation with Russia on the settlement of the Syrian conflict.

Nevertheless, a world war could have been easily triggered if the Russians stationed in Syria would have discovered 59 US Cruise missiles flying over their heads in the middle of the night in the Syrian airspace. That is why, the wise approach for Trump to do was to coordinate with his strong Russian counterpart Putin, to find a way to repel any eventual attacks from his foes from the entrenched establishment about his foreign policies especially towards Assad.

The attack, didn’t undermine Assad’s gains or Putin’s interest in Syria, and in the same time silenced all those who waited for the appropriate moment to bash President Trump’s policies and hence accuse him not only of weakness but also of betrayal of America’s interest by collaborating with Vladimir Putin, which would have been disastrous for Trump in this critical moment. Therefore, there’s high probability that the chemical attack was set up for Assad by planting these chemical stockpiles in the warzone so it would be among the bombarded targets.

On the other hand, and for the time being, it is wise for Vladimir Putin not to let Donald Trump become an easy target to their common enemies, the globalists, the Democrats and the reactionary Republicans. This is why Russia refrained from activating any aerial defenses and limiting Moscow’s reaction to the official condemnation by the Russian diplomacy. But this coordination aiming to protect Trump’s position vis-à-vis his adversaries in Washington, has a price.

The Russians let the Americans act alone during this attack, and in a matter of hours this same attack became an excuse for Moscow to deploy the Admiral Grigorovich missile-armed frigate to the Mediterranean Sea, where two U.S. destroyers fired the missiles. Who said the Russians aren’t the Gods of the chess game?!!!

Finally, I don’t expect any further escalation in this conflict, at least between the two superpowers, Washington and Moscow. Although, it all depends now on Donald Trump’s ability to resist and deter all the incoming attacks within Washington, especially the hidden ones from the intelligence community.

*I refer you to my previous article: The Israeli raid on Syria & Putin’s Russian roulette.

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