From the comments at The Saker:
The US is currently moving forces into eastern Syria, increasing the numbers of troops on the ground weekly and going dark about the count. Centcom announced it would no longer publish the numbers. This process began under Obama and continues under Trump without pause and without Syrian consent, to my knowledge. Although the presence of US forces in Syria violates Syrian sovereignty and international law, the UN remains mute, as usual.
This is an invasion, nothing less, which in my view is meant to achieve a “fact on the ground” that cannot be undone without a clash between superpowers. The “fact on the ground” is a “safe zone” within Syria, more accurately an “occupation zone” that serves to irreversibly partition Syria.
US policy remains steadfast in achieving this goal by any means possible. For this reason, I believe the war in Syria is about to get much worse.
Evidence…yesterday the US media instantly blamed Assad for yet another chemical “attack”, this time in Idlib, despite absence of any link to Assad, and despite knowledge of earlier evidence clearly linking opposition forces to prior chemical attacks. Trump blessed the fake news and added more of his own by spreading the blame to Obama for failing to act in the past. Simultaneously, the US airwaves were saturated with lies and denunciations about Assad and fresh red line warnings.
Clearly, the chemical attack was timed and choreographed with the media in order to generate maximum public support for whatever the US has planned against Syria in the near future. Whatever it is, they are about to do it under the bear’s nose, and probably also behind its back (in Lebanon).
Ample evidence exists that the real purpose of dividing Syria is the territorial expansion of Israel. Yinon laid it out clearly for all to read. Iraqi reports of IDF commanders leading ISIS units are noteworthy. Other IDF officers are known to have worked (and died) in command centers bombed by Russia in Syria. The destruction and theft of Iraqi and Syrian antiquities also reflects intent to erase Arab culture and history on stolen lands and thereby render moot any future Arab claim to those lands. Palestinians have cataloged similar erasures of their homes and villages in Israel. The entire war since 2003 has been an infrastructure-destroying, culture-erasing, civilian-killing, and population-resettling operation, none of which is required for laying a gas pipeline through a desert.
The defeat of ISIS may cause a shift in US tactics, but it will not end the Syrian war or end US action in Syria. The war will continue until the US achieves partition or is driven forcefully out of the region (with Israel).
Russia’s choices are to unilaterally stand down, make deals with the West to share the spoils, or fight.
How will Russia respond to the present US invasion?
We are at the precipice of world war. Russia is surrounded by regions stoked with tension by the US: Korea, South China Sea, Ukraine, former Warsaw Pact nations, the arctic, and Armenia/Azerbaijan. The Western build-up is almost complete in Europe, Japan, and Southeast Asia. More money has been earmarked for military spending (by Trump), and regular military shows of force are conducted in the named regions.
I believe it is the Kremlin’s belief that world war is certain. Therefore, the Russian response in Syria, if attacked, will reflect Russian recognition that a world war has begun. Imagine the heat.
At this point, the Trump election was a victory for Hillary’s policies (i.e., neocon war policies). Whether Trump misrepresented himself or flipped since January 21 2017 are of no concern to me. The fact is Trump’s actions show he embraces neocon ideology today no less than Barak Obama, George Bush, Bill Clinton, and Hillary Clinton.
Knowing the risk and the low probability of success, I and many other Americans supported Trump hoping the US would find a way to reject this inane war and pursue peace. I believe peace, not jobs, was the highest priority of most Trump supporters, and still is. We haven’t failed yet, but the troops are moving and the prognosis is grim. Pray our Frankenstein government grows a frontal lobe before it’s too late.