While the world is busy pretending to believe Donald Trump fired former FBI director James Comey because the president has a sinister closet of Russian skeletons to hide from the public, the United States is heading towards a direct war with its Cold War adversary in the most dangerous of scenarios.
According to the Telegraph, Syrian government troops are on a direct collision course with Western Special Forces after advancing towards a U.S. training base in eastern Syria over the weekend.
Pro-government forces are now within 15 miles of al-Tanf, a fortified base for American and British special forces that has been used to train Syrian rebel groups to fight ISIS near the Iraq border.
The “assault,” as noted by the Telegraph, is being led by Iranian forces who are commanding Syrian troops and Lebanese Hezbollah fighters. (Apparently, Syria is “assaulting” its own territory whereas U.S. and British troops have a legitimate reason to be there).
To make matters more dismal, these Assad loyalists are also being covered by Russian air power.
According to regional outlet al-Masdar, the aim of the Syrian offensive is to capture the Tanf Border Crossing, which links Baghdad to Damascus. With the prospects of U.S.-backed forces establishing a foothold along the strategic area, Damascus has made it a priority to reopen the highway and retake the area.
In doing so, Syria will not only establish a vital link to Iraq but will also establish a viable land route to Iran, a strategic ally of the Syrian government.
The offensive is also running in tandem with the Syrian government’s bid to reclaim Deir Ezzor from ISIS, another strategic area because it is home to Syria’s biggest oil deposit.
According to the Telegraph, the U.S. has said it will not tolerate any attack on its base in al-Tanf, but it is still unclear how Western forces will react to the approaching threat. Russia already bombed the area in June 2016, though no injuries to American or British troops were reported.
Over the weekend, al-Masdar reported that 150 British and U.S. troops entered the Syrian battle arena while traveling through this vital crossing. It is unclear how far in this game of chicken against Syria and Russia the United States wants to go, as directly engaging these troops will put the U.S. in direct conflict with Russia’s air force.
Considering that Russia, Iran, and Syria’s allies on the ground issued a statement in early April that any further attacks on the Syrian government will be met with force, these developments have the potential to break out into an outright war.
As Russia’s plan to install so-called “safe-zones” across Syria appears to reduce the fighting between the Syrian government and many rebel groups in the larger Syrian locations such as Idlib, Homs, and Aleppo, Syrian troops have been freed up to continue their advances across the eastern part of the country and confront the threats accumulating there.
In response, the U.S. has almost all but run out of options and has resorted to an invasion of Syria. Learning absolutely no lessons from the illegal invasion of Iraq, the U.S. and its British counterpart have again ignored international legal standards to pursue a regime-change agenda on their own, paving the way for a global conflict.
Syria is not Iraq. Syrian troops, spearheaded by Iran and backed by Russian airpower, clearly have no issue defending their country from a U.S. invasion, as is evident in their advance towards the American training base.
To further complicate matters, there are calls within Turkey to completely evict the U.S. military and its warplanes from the integral Incirlik Air Base in that country in response to Donald Trump’s reckless decision to arm the Syrian Kurds with heavy weaponry.
Not only is the U.S. fast running out of genuine options to topple the Syrian government, it may also be losing strategic allies in the process. In that context, America’s advantage lies not in trying to tactically outmaneuver the Syrian and Russian governments, but in its vast military capabilities. Unfortunately, if the powers-that-be cannot admit defeat in Syria, they may have to resort to an all-out war with the Syrian government — even if that means directly confronting Russia, too.