A statement issued on Sunday by a joint command center consisting of Russian, Iranian and allied militia alliance forces supporting Syrian President Bashar al Assad said that Friday’s US strike on the Syrian air base crossed “red lines” and it would “respond with force” to any new aggression while increasing their level of support to their ally.
In the statement published by the group on media outlet Ilam al Harbi, the pro-Assad alliances says that “what America waged in an aggression on Syria is a crossing of red lines. From now on we will respond with force to any aggressor or any breach of red lines from whoever it is and America knows our ability to respond well,” reported The Independent.
Zero Hedge reported, earlier on Sunday the UK’s Defence Secretary, Sir Michael Fallon, demanded Russia rein in Mr Assad (by which he really meant be willing to accept a new Syrian regime with a pro-western puppet leader, and one who is willing to allow the Qatar gas pipeline to cross the country on its way to Europe.
Fallon also claimed that Moscow is “responsible for every civilian death” in the chemical attack on Khan Sheikhun and said Putin was responsible for the brutal killings “by proxy”, because it was the Syrian president’s “principal backer.” The defense minister said the attack had happened “on their watch” and that Vladimir Putin must now live up to previous promises that Mr Assad’s chemical weapons had been destroyed. His comments came after Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson pulled out of a Moscow visit hours before he was due to fly.
Finally, for those who are unclear about the core geopolitical tensions that are at the base of the long-running Syrian proxy war, the answer is – as so often tends to be – commodities and specifically natural gas, as we first explained in 2013, and as summarized in the following October 2016 article courtesy of Eric Zuesse (see also “Competing Gas Pipelines Are Fueling The Syrian War & Migrant Crisis“)
Turkey’s Anadolu News Agency, though government-run, is providing remarkably clear and reliable diagrammatic descriptions of the current status of the U.S – and – fundamentalist – Sunni, versus Russia – and – Shia – and – NON – fundamentalist – Sunni, sides, in the current oil-and-gas war in the Middle East, for control over territory in Syria, for construction of oil-and-gas pipelines through Syria supplying fuel into the world’s largest energy-market: Europe. Russia is now the dominant supplier of both oil and gas, but its ally Iran is a Shiite gas-powerhouse that wants to share the market there, and Russia has no objection.
Qatar is a Sunni gas-powerhouse and wants to become the main supplier of gas there, and Saudi Arabia is a Sunni oil-powerhouse, which wants to become the major supplier of oil, but Saudi oil and Qatari gas would be pipelined through secular-controlled (Assad’s) Syria, and this is why the U.S. and its fundamentalist-Sunni allies, the Sauds, and Qataris, are using Al Qaeda and other jihadists to conquer enough of a strip through Syria so that U.S. companies such as Halliburton will be able safely to place pipelines there, to be marketed in Europe by U.S. firms such as Exxon. Iran also wants to pipeline its gas through Syria, and this is one reason why Iran is defending Syria’s government, against the U.S.-Saudi-Qatari-jihadist invasion, which is trying to overthrow and replace Assad.
Here are the most-informative of Anadolu’s war-maps:
The first presents the effort by many countries to eliminate ISIS control over the large Iraqi city of Mosul. A remarkably frank remark made in this map is “An escape corridor into Syria will be left for Daesh [ISIS] so they can vacate Mosul” – an admission that the U.S. – Saudi – Qatari team want the ISIS jihadists who are in Mosul to relocate into Syria to assist the U.S. – Saudi – Qatari effort there to overthrow and replace the Assad government: