by Stephen Lendman
On May 16, the Wall Street Journal headlined "Russia Raises Stakes in Syria," saying:
Russia "sent a dozen or more warships to patrol waters near its naval base in Syria, a buildup that US and European officials see as a newly aggressive stance meant partly to warn the West and Israel not to intervene in Syria's bloody civil war."
RIA Novosti said deployed ships include the Admiral Panteleyev destroyer, the Peresvet and Admiral Nevelsky amphibious vessels, the Pechenga tanker, the Fotiy Krylov salvage/rescue tug, the Severomorsk anti-submarine ship, the Azov Popucha-II Class landing ship, and other vessels.
According to the WSJ, "Russia's expanded presenceâ€¦represents one of its largest sustained naval deployments since the Cold War."
Its "presence adds a new source of potential danger for miscalculation in an increasingly combustible region."
An unnamed US defense official called it "a show of force. It's muscle flexing. It is about demonstrating their commitment to their interests."
It's "Moscow's way of trying to strengthen its hand in any talks over Syria's future and buttress its influence in the Middle East," added the Journal.
Unmentioned was America's longstanding presence. Its formidable land, air and naval forces create instability. They threaten the region.
They increase heightened Syrian tensions. US officials warned of more Israeli air strikes. Russian-supplied Yakhont missiles may be targeted. Putin said more advanced ones will be sent. Some reports say they've arrived.
Nuclear submarines may enlarge Russia's task force. Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said earlier that a permanent Mediterranean naval presence was needed to defend Moscow's regional interests.
Throughout the Syrian conflict, Russia's forthrightly supported a diplomatic solution. It backs the Syrian people's right to choose who'll lead them. It does so responsibly.
Obama et al demand regime change. Assad must go is repeated. No nation has the right to interfere in the internal affairs of others. Washington does so repeatedly.
Obama's waging proxy war on Syria. He's doing so lawlessly. He and Turkey's Erdogan met in Washington. Both leaders are war criminals.
A press conference followed. Assad must go, they said. They've said it many times before. They do so unjustifiably.
Obama expressed condolences for Reyhanli bombing victims. He ignored Turkey's responsibility for killing them. It was a clear false flag. Assad was wrongfully blamed.
America will always be on Turkey's side fighting terrorism, he said. Omitted was both countries involvement in fueling it.
"We will continue to increase the pressure on the al-Assad regime and we will continue to work with the opposition," he stressed.
Efforts will continue to "free (Syria) from Assad's tyranny," he added.
He reserved the right to take additional steps. They won't be unilateral, he stressed. Doing so suggests NATO's involvement and perhaps Israel in what's planned. Libya 2.0 appears likely.
Asked about his "red line" on chemical weapons, he said:
"There are a whole range of options that the United States is already engaged in."
"And I preserve the options of taking additional steps, both diplomatic and military, because those chemical weapons inside of Syria also threaten our security over the long term as well as our allies and friends and neighbors."
"It's very much my hope to continue to work with all the various parties involved, including Turkey, to find a solution that brings peace to Syria, stabilizes the region, stabilizes those chemical weapons, but it's not going to be something that the United States does by itself, and I don't think anybody in the region, including the prime minister, would think that U.S. unilateral actions in and of themselves would bring about a better outcome inside of Syria."
Erdogan said both countries work cooperatively. They agree on regime change. Information is shared.
"I want to see the glass half full. We want to see the sensibility of the international community," he said.
"I believe that the United States is showing efforts (in Syria). We will work to (find a quicker solution) with members of the UN Security Council, of the Arab League or other countries who show their sensibility even if they are outside (the region)."
"The only thing that we want is to save Syria from an autocratic regime and a dictatorship."
At issue is Turkey's complicity with Washington. Both countries and others want Assad ousted. They want pro-Western puppet leadership replacing him. They're waging proxy war to do so.
They're ravaging Syria in the process. They bear full responsibility for crimes of war and against humanity. Western-backed death squad atrocities highlight them.
They repeat with disturbing regularity. Days ago an insurgent commander was filmed cutting out a corpse's heart and liver. He appeared to bite into his trophy.
Another video showed Western-backed death squad killers executing 11 Syrian soldiers in cold blood. They were lined up, blindfolded, forced to kneel, and shot in the back of the head.
These atrocities aren't isolated incidents. They've been committed throughout the conflict. Insurgents are responsible for numerous massacres. Assad loyalists are targeted. Each time Assad is wrongfully blamed.
Since 2011, UN General Assembly passed five US-backed resolutions blaming him for insurgent crimes. Doing so bears responsibility for tens of thousands of Syrian deaths. Irresponsible behavior assures many more.
On Thursday, CIA chief John Brennan discussed Syria and Iran with Israeli defense and intelligence officials. He did so in Israel. Details of their meeting weren't released.
Washington and Israel target both countries. What's planned remains to be seen. A previous article discussed Israeli threats to launch more attacks on Syria. Brennan perhaps discussed covert CIA operations. Syria and Iran are key targets.
Netanyahu visited Russia days earlier. He and Vladimir Putin met in Sochi. He wants plans to supply Syria with sophisticated S-300 missile systems cancelled. Putin warned him against further air attacks.
Eilat is Israel's southernmost city. It's at the Red Sea's northern tip. On May 14, (Netanyahu's last day in Sochi) the USS Kearsarge arrived.
On board were 1,800 marines and 20 V-22 Osprey helicopters.
During his April visit, Defense Secretary Hagel promised delivery. Reports said Putin was furious.
On the one hand, Obama and John Kerry agreed to convene a peace conference. On the other, US military forces are deployed near Syria's border.
Perhaps marines were sent to supplement them. Washington wants insurgent fighters given more weapons. Escalating conflict while talking peace shows Obama's real intentions. Ousting Assad matters most. All means are employed to do so.
Before Netanyahu and Putin met, leaked reports said S-300s already arrived. Syrian missile teams were trained earlier. They're ready to use them.
Both sides strongly disagree. Israel's allied with Washington. Obama et al demand regime change. Ravaging Syria continues to achieve it. Putin stresses diplomatic conflict resolution.
Another peace conference won't change things. If convened, it'll be another exercise in futility. It's hard imagining much more.
On May 16, Jerusalem Post editors headlined "Warning Syria," saying:
Chances increased "for a military conflagration on the Syrian borderâ€¦.(V)arious forces seem to be coming together to threaten (its) relative quietâ€¦."
An organization called the Abdul Qader Husseini Battalions of the Free Palestine Movement "took responsibility for firing two mortar shells at Mount Hermon." It came on Nakba Day.
Israel didn't respond. JP editors said Syria, Russia, Hezbollah, and Palestinian elements "should heed Israeli warnings." They stopped short of urging Israel to retaliate.
Israel's Syrian border bears watching. It could become a flashpoint. Escalated conflict may follow manufactured incidents. Israel's very much involved.
Obama's heading toward full-scale intervention. Israel and/or Turkey may provide pretexts to do so. Ongoing events demand close scrutiny.
A Final Comment
America's agenda is permanent war. Post-9/11, Dick Cheney warned that wars won't end in our lifetime. Former CIA Director James Woolsey said America's "engaged in WW IV. (It could) last considerably longer than either World Wars I or II."
The Pentagon calls it the "long war." They're endless.
On May 16, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations Michael Sheehan told Senate Armed Services Committee members that America's war on terror will continue "at least 10 to 20 years."
He might as well have said forever. Washington's addicted to war. It's waging it at home and abroad. Rogue states operate that way. America's by far the worst.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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