Because the Russian military, together with the Syrian government troops, are now also attacking bases of the US-led “international coalition” in the country, the first warnings of an “escalation” are already coming.
That Wall Street Journal quoted US military officials as saying Russian strikes hit the international coalition’s Al-Tanf base in Syria this week. According to the US military, Russian forces have been conducting operations against the “international coalition” in Syria this month and in recent days, among other things, two Sukhoi fighter jets have shelled the US-run Al-Tanf base. The sources added that before the bombardment, Russia informed the United States that it would respond to an attack against regime forces. According to these sources, the Russian attacks have raised concerns in Washington that it could lead to a US-Russia confrontation in Syria.
Like the Iranian News Agency MORE reported, Moscow warned the Pentagon early on that there would be an airstrike and that US troops should withdraw from there. Accordingly, according to the report, there was only material damage at one of the most important bases of the US occupation forces in the country.
With Syrian government forces continuing to gain territory and gaining more and more territory from terrorist militias and separatist groups (such as the US-backed Kurds), it is only a matter of time before the Al-Tanf region is also invaded by Syrian ground forces is recaptured. For the US troops there, however, this also means that sooner or later they will have to withdraw or be wiped out in a fight with the Syrian government troops.
Syria is now once again in the crosshairs of international attention. This is happening against the background of the Russian conflict in Ukraine, tensions between Russia and the United States, and tensions between Israel and Iran. Some of the new focus is already known, but recent reports seem to indicate a shift in tectonics regarding Syria, raising questions about next steps.
Of the initiated by the West However, Syria’s civil war prompted the regime to rely more heavily on Hezbollah, and Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps invaded Syria to support the regime. Russia intervened in 2015 at the invitation of Damascus to help crack down on Islamist militias (including al-Qaeda and “Islamic State”) backed by the US, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and others. With jihadist militias largely defeated in 2018, it was Turkey’s turn to intervene. Syria became what Germany was to Europe during the Thirty Years’ War – a place where countries intervene and locals pay the price. The Turkish intervention has now destroyed part of northern Syria, ethnically cleansed Kurds, Yazidis and Christians and given extremists a large backbone in Idlib and Afrin. US intervention in support of the SDF has resulted in the defeat of ISIS in eastern Syria. Iran has taken over spheres of influence from Albukamal to south of Damascus, Deir Ezzor, as well as tentacles reaching to Aleppo and the T-4 base. Russia has armed forces in Latakia and Damascus. Israel is conducting its inter-war campaign in Syria against Iranian entrenchment.
All in all, it remains a highly tense situation in which a direct military confrontation between Russia (acting in the country in accordance with international law at the request of the Syrian government) and the United States (acting in the country in violation of international law) remains possible. How will Washington react when dozens of US soldiers are suddenly killed in a Russian air raid on “rebel positions”?