News Release

Russia and Iran Warn of “Red Lines” on Syria

SyriaP The British Independent reports: “Russia and Iran warn U.S. they will ‘respond with force’ if red lines crossed in Syria again.”

Norman Solomon writes in “Trump Plunges Toward World War III” for ConsortiumNews.com that: “Months of Democratic Russia-bashing and Trump-baiting achieved their predictable result as the thin-skinned and rash President is now proving his ‘toughness’ by firing off missiles and risking World War III.”

According to AirWars.org, the U.S. and U.K. launched 18 strikes in Syria and nine strikes in Iraq over the weekend, bringing their bombing over the last 975 days to nearly 20,000 strikes.

JAFAR JAFARI, [in D.C.] jijafari [at] yahoo.com
Jafari is with Al-Mayadeen, a Beirut-based pan-Arab news channel founded by Ghassan bin Jiddo who gained much acclaim for his coverage of the Israeli-Hezbollah war of 2006 and was host of “Open Dialogue” on Al-Jazeera. Jiddo resigned from Al-Jazeera in 2011, accusing it of betraying its journalistic mission as the Arab uprisings began.

Jafari stated that the U.S. cruise missile attack was in part a way of gaining leverage for Secretary of State Rex Tillerson ahead of his trip to Moscow, scheduled for Wednesday. This was similar to the analysis of Larry Wilkerson, former chief of staff for Colin Powell. Wilkerson also told The Real News that the attack was similar to the Gulf of Tonkin incident or U.S. government fabrications regarding Iraqi WMDs — a pretext. Wilkerson also states that his sources — including members of the U.S team that monitors global chemical weapons — believe that the alleged gas attack was in fact possibly the result of the Syrian Air Force striking a storage depot — and that they had told the U.S. and Russia that they would strike it.

REESE ERLICH, via Cheryl Quimba,  cquimba [at] prometheusbooks.com or ReeseErlich2 [at] hotmail.com
Erlich is a Peabody award-winning foreign correspondent. The paperback edition of his 2014 book Inside Syria: The Backstory of Their Civil War and What the World Can Expect has been updated with a new epilogue and includes a foreword by Noam Chomsky.

Erlich said today: “While seemingly dealing a decisive blow against Bashar al-Assad’s use of poison gas, in reality, the attack seriously escalates the war and could spark more military clashes in the region.

“Destroying one Syrian airbase will not stop attacks on civilians by Assad and Russia. The U.S. currently has over 1,000 troops stationed in Syria, and Trump will have to escalate those numbers and their combat roles in order to fight Assad. Russia has already announced that it will cease exchanging intelligence and air coordinates with the U.S. Trump’s actions increase the possibility of a military clash with Russia, endangering the lives of U.S. soldiers and countless civilians.

“In addition, the aggressive attack may embolden Israel to attack Hezbollah, the Lebanese political party and militia. Israel believes Hezbollah is weakened as a result of overextending itself in Syria, and that this may be a good time to launch an attack on Lebanon with U.S. blessings.

“Trump’s attack lacks any basis in international or U.S. law. The U.N. held no vote and the U.S. Congress has not even debated, let alone voted on, going to war in Syria or Iraq. …

“The use of chemical gas in the Idlib province was a horrific crime. Those responsible should be held to account under international law. Both rebels and Assad’s forces have used chemical weapons in the past, according to U.N. investigations. Therefore, international chemical weapons experts must investigate on the ground before who is responsible for the attack can be determined.”