In the first major involvement in a foreign conflict during his presidency, Donald Trump effectively buried all hopes of rapprochement with Russia. When he defeated Hillary Clinton, an exponent of the war-mongering faction of the US establishment, and the woman who wanted to impose a no fly zone over Syria – that could potentially lead to open war with Russia, many thought Trump is going to negotiate some kind of an agreement with Russia and work together with Putin to resolve the deathly conflict in Syria.
After an US airstrike on a government-controlled base in Syria on Friday, the hopes for a constructive US foreign policy in Syria have definitively been stifled.
Not only Trump had failed to reduce the tension with Russia over the number 1 geo-political battleground on the planet, he had adopted the strategy and the rhetoric of the hawkish neo-cons who tried to undermine his presidency at every step and cause a major confrontation with Russia at any cost.
Russia, the chief ally of the Assad regime, quickly condemned the US missile attack. Russian President Vladimir Putin said he believer the missile strikes on Syrian air base violated international law and have ‘seriously hurt’ U.S.-Russia relations.
The Russian leader regarded the U.S. action as “aggression against a sovereign nation” on a “made-up pretext” and as a cynical attempt to distract the world from civilian deaths in Iraq, Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov was cited as saying.
Western governments, with the unanimous support from mainstream media, blame Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for the chemical attack in Khan Sheikhoun which killed at least 70 people, 30 of which children.
Syrian government has denied involvement in the attack, and Russia immediately challenged the Western narrative that put all blame on Assad’s regime.
Chemical weapons were first reportedly used in Syria in 2012, WHO said, and have since occurred with “disturbing frequency” despite a 2013 agreement aiming to reduce the regime’s stockpiles.
The UN, as well as other humanitarian organization have accused all sides in the Syrian conflict of committing crimes against the civilian population, and using chemical weapon attacks.
However, like with the previous incident where Assad was accused by the West of using chemical attacks against civilians, the evidence remains inconclusive.
Western media hysteria and a new wave of crusade against Assad comes at a time when the Syrian regime, with the support of Russia, is making significant gains against the jihadist rebels and ISIS.
Regarding the US role in Syria, it seems that the Trump administration has reverted to Obama foreign policy that Trump has criticized in the election campaign. The US air strike against Assad may prove to be the first indicator that Trump has been neutralized by the forces he claimed to oppose.