Threats and Delusions

Trump seems intent on starting a major war, and Israel’s role is central

By Abdel Bari Atwan

We had assumed that the attack which US President Donald Trump intends to launch on Syria at any moment would be tripartite: involving France and Britain alongside the Americans. But Israel’s latest threats to obliterate President Bashar al-Asad’s regime if Iran launches a retaliatory attack from Syrian territory make clear that it is at the heart of the new US-led coalition and will play a key part in its assault. And it is not unlikely that Iran and Hezbollah will also be at the top of the target-list.

Israel placed its forces on high alert in anticipation of possible Iranian retaliation for the death of seven Iranians killed in the Israeli missile strike on Syria’s T-4 airbase near Homs two days ago. But it is also probably bracing for retaliation from Syria and Hezbollah due to its central role in the forthcoming American aggression – especially after Israeli minister Yoav Galant declared that “the time has come to kill” Asad, and Russian President Vladimir Putin called Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to warn him against taking part.

Trump contrived the pretext of the use of chemical weapons in Eastern Ghouta because he wants a major war in Syria, not just a few missile strikes to divert attention from the US’ defeat in the country and from his personal domestic difficulties. His Tweet warning Russia of impending missile strikes on Syria was a declaration of war by a defeated and unstable individual, who is trying to recover a global leadership status that it increasingly lost to other powers like Russia and China while he was busy extorting billions of dollars from the Gulf states and dealing with his political and personal scandals at home.

President Bashar al-Asad may move out of the presidential palace, which is likely to be a principal target of any American strikes along with the country’s military and civilian airports and the headquarters of security agencies in Damascus and elsewhere. But he is certainly not about to leave Syria, as American and Israeli and even some Arab media have been suggesting. He and his family stayed in the country even when missiles were landing within metres of his palace, and remained in his post performing his constitutional duties for seven years, during some of which he lost control of 60% of Syria’s territory. So why should he leave now, having recovered most of Syria’s territory – most recently Eastern Ghouta – with the help of his Russian, Iranian and Hezbollah allies?

Israel is threatening to erase Asad and his regime from the map of the world. But it has had more than 20 years to achieve this goal, and failed to do so. Israel is the one that should be fearing obliteration if war breaks out. The resistance’s missiles may not be able to reach the US, but they can certainly reach Israeli cities, settlements and airports – in their tens of thousands, and from more than one front.

We have said his before and will do so again: any such war will not be one-sided. The American invasion and the bombing and siege that preceded it did not erase Iraq from the map, and it has begun to recover its strength and stature with increasing speed.  Syria has been on the map for 8,000 years, whereas Israel is a mere 70 years old and has not won any of its wars for the past 35. Those who are making threats need to take these facts into account.

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التزام زوار "راي اليوم" بلياقات التفاعل مع المواد المنشورة ومواضيعها المطروحة، وعدم تناول الشخصيات والمقامات الدينية والدنيوية والكتّاب، بكلام جارح ونابِ ومشين، وعدم المساس بالشعوب والأعراق والإثنيات والأوطان بالسوء، وعلى ان يكون التعليق مختصرا بقدر الامكان.

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