While the US is increasing its military presence in Syria, the Russian Defense Ministry warns of preparations to stage a chemical attack on Syrian territory. Several analysts are examining the possibility of further attacks by the US and its allies against the country.
Although US officials deny plans to carry out an attack on Syria, many experts doubt that. According to them, the same happened before the last two attacks carried out by the international coalition led by the USA. This comes especially as the Syrian Army is preparing to liberate jihadist-held Idlib, a province that is mostly controlled by the Al-Qaeda affiliated Al-Nusra Front.
According to the editor-in-chief of the magazine Natsionalnaya Oborona (National Defense), Igor Korotchenko, in such a situation, when the statements of the US and Russia contradict each other, it is to prioritize those of the Russian Ministry of Defense, whose data come from military intelligence.
“[The statements of the Russian Ministry of Defense] are not mere statements but confirmed and reliable information,” he told the Vzglyad newspaper.
The chairman of Russia’s Academy of Geopolitical Problems, retired Colonel-General Leonid Ivashov, shares that view and finds that statements by Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov about the imminent provocation have had an effect.
According to Ivashov, the fact that the Pentagon is justifying itself shows that it is likely that the attack will not be carried out. It is true that the US has increased the presence of cruise missile carriers in the region and it is not known for sure why they did this.
“The US could be replacing the obsolete missiles that were used in the previous attack, or they could be preparing for an attack on Syrian targets,” he said.
Aleksandr Domrin, an expert on US affairs, in turn, links the latest US actions around Syria to the next summit of Russia, Iran and Turkey leaders to be held in September.
“Obviously, they will not talk about Ukraine, but about Syria. If the US really plans something, they have to do it before the summit is celebrated,” Domrin said.
According to him, all of this escalation is part of the personal interests of US President Donald Trump, who wants to help Republican congressmen in the upcoming interim congressional elections.
“Foreign policy itself is what Donald Trump is least interested in. He needs it only to show that he is a great guy and that Trump’s supporters should be elected to Congress,” he said.
But the midterm elections are not the only reason in US domestic policy that could lead Donald Trump to attempt a fresh strike against Syria, said political scientist Boris Mezhuev.
For him, the US president could use the war to distract attention and avoid “impeachment.” According to the expert, when US presidents begin to have serious problems in domestic politics, military operations usually begin.
“When Bill Clinton confessed to having lied under oath and having sex with Miss Lewinsky, almost the same day he launched two attacks on alleged positions of al-Qaeda in Russia,” the political scientist said.
At that time, the plan worked out, so the war factor as a distraction might work for Donald Trump, who may be interested in using this “tool,” he added.
In addition, with John Bolton’s arrival at the White House National Security Adviser and Mike Pompeo as Secretary of State, Trump’s foreign policy became remarkably aggressive.
Mezhuev added that despite the existence of a strong opposition against the US president, there is also a very influential segment that supports him by seeing him able to solve the problem of Iran in the interest of Israel.
“The world will be on the verge of grave danger by the end of the year.” Trump can take serious action without considering the consequences for all humanity, given its political fate only, “Boris Mezhuyev concluded.
On Sunday, the Russian Ministry of Defense reported that foreign experts are preparing in the Syrian village of Kafer Zaita a staging of “chemical attack”. The implementation of this plan is intended to function as a pretext for the United States, the United Kingdom and France to attack the Syrian government infrastructures.