Trump military attack on Syria

This video from Britain says about itself:

Tariq Ali: Emergency Protest No Attack on Syria. Stop the War Coalition, London 28 08 2013

By James Cogan in the USA:

US launches cruise missile attack against Syrian government

7 April 2017

Between 8 and 9 p.m., US Eastern Time Thursday, two US warships in the Mediterranean fired a barrage of 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at a Syrian air base at Shayrat, near the city of Homs. The attack is the first direct assault by the United States on the Russian- and Iranian-backed government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and has plunged the world into days of uncertainty as to the consequences. … Russian forces were at the base. …

The Russian military was reportedly given notice that the air base was going to be bombed. Russia has large numbers of aircraft and personnel in Syria assisting Assad’s forces fight a six-year, US-sponsored insurrection by predominantly Islamist militias. If the Russians were given notice, questions remain as to whether they were given a sufficient window of time to withdraw their assets from harm’s way.

The pretext for the US attack is the sinister and dubious allegation that Assad’s air force used chemical weapons in an attack on a rebel-held town on Tuesday. The claims are dubious, above all, because the Syrian government had no motive to use such weapons, knowing that it would be seized upon to demand that Trump order a direct US-led intervention. The Islamist rebels, by contrast, along with their CIA advisors, had ample motive under conditions in which they are facing complete military defeat. Moreover, the Al Qaeda-linked al-Nusra militia is known to be in possession of, and to have used chemical weapons.

Al Qaeda/Al-Nusra itself may not have the technical facilities to make chemical weapons. However, their allies in Turkey and Saudi Arabia have.

The result is the prospect of a rapid descent toward a confrontation with Iran and nuclear-armed Russia. It is entirely conceivable that the Syrian military, using sophisticated Russian-supplied anti-aircraft missile systems, will now retaliate by engaging American aircraft in Syrian airspace or launching attacks on the American troops operating on the ground with various rebel militias in parts of the country.

Trump appears to have authorised the bombardment even as he was sitting down for dinner and a photo opportunity with Chinese President Xi Jinping, who arrived in the US just hours before and whose government has consistently aligned with Russia to defend Assad’s government.

Among the numerous questions posed by the US strike is whether the top-level summit between Trump and Xi can even proceed. The situation is, by any standard, unprecedented for a Chinese leader. Xi will face immense recriminations in China if he is seen sitting alongside Trump in polite diplomatic talks, at a luxury golf resort in Florida, while his own government, Russia, Iran and other countries are denouncing a unilateral and illegal American act of war on Syria.

Moreover, the Trump administration has been threatening to launch a pre-emptive attack on North Korea and trigger a catastrophic war on China’s borders. The missile strike on Syria will remove any doubt in Chinese strategic and military circles as to whether Trump would be prepared to order such action. …

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson subsequently issued a statement accusing Russia of being “complicit” in the alleged gas attack and denouncing it for failing to meet its undertakings in 2013 to ensure Syria destroyed its chemical weapons. At the time, the Obama administration, in the face of doubts in the US military establishment and popular opposition, used the Russian guarantees to back away from its plans to wage a massive air war on the Assad government.

One of the reasons that the Obama administration then did not attack the Damascus government (which would have made it a de facto ally of ISIS, Al Qaeda, etc.) was that, eg, the White House itself and the United Nations said they were not sure which side in the Syrian war had used chemical weapons. Now, Trump claims to be sure within a few days; basing his military attack on that.

Dutch NOS TV says today there is no watertight proof that the poison gas attack was by Damascus government armed forces.

According to a report on NOS TV today, the attack killed five people and wounded seven; including people in a village not far from the Syrian military base.

NOS update: seven killed, nine wounded.

Update: ‘US strike on Shayrat airbase killed 14 people including 9 civilians‘.

Update: ‘Women & children’ among casualties of US missile strike – Homs governor.

In Syria, the Saudi- and Turkish-financed and armed Islamist Ahrar al-Sham militia declared that it “welcomes any US intervention through surgical strikes.” … Turkey had already given blanket support in advance of the strikes.

The Saudi absolute monarchy has also said they support the Pentagon attack.

While many members of the United States Congress raised concerns about Trump’s failure to seek congressional authorization, few questioned the strike itself.

Meanwhile, in the USA itself, the Trump administration attacks free speech on the Internet: Twitter sues over feds’ request to unmask owner of @ALT_USCIS account: here.

8 thoughts on “Trump military attack on Syria

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