Bashar al-Assad’s vicious chemical weapons attack earlier this week was a sign of something larger and more serious permeating the Syrian landscape than many had imagined.
Syria itself is in dire straits. Between al-Assad’s unbelievably heinous military efficacy, the rise and continued success of ISIS and their followers in the country, and Russia’s strange, albeit necessary presence in the middle eastern hotbed of violence, it is beginning to become obvious that there is more than meets the eye occurring in Syria.
Russia and the United States have each vowed to eliminate ISIS, globally. Russia is taking the fight to the terror organization on the ground in their areas of Syrian occupation, uncomfortably cozying up to the controversial regime of al-Assad in the process. The U.S. has itself steered clear of al-Assad at all costs, recognizing the brutality with which his version of justice is enforced. This alone has caused tensions to rise between Russia and the United States in recent months.
Now, days removed from a chemical weapons attack by al-Assad, the American Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has ceased to mince his words as they pertain to Russia’s actions in Syria, asking the globe to reexamine exactly how Putin’s troops fit into the entire Syrian equation.
“Speaking from President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, where Trump is meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Tillerson referenced Russia’s 2013 agreement to oversee the destruction of Syria’s chemical arsenal and said Russia has ‘clearly failed in its responsibility’ to eliminate those weapons.“’Either Russia has been complicit or Russia has been simply incompetent on its ability to deliver,’ he said.
“Tillerson stated that Russia’s permission was not sought for the strike, but warnings were given to reduce the risk of Russian casualties.
“’Our target in this attack was not Russia. Our target was this airfield and the Syrian regime.’
“He also said the White House consulted with American allies in Europe and the Middle East, and their response was ‘overwhelmingly supportive.’”
Tillerson is far from the first person to cast doubt on the ability or willingness of the Russian forces in Syria, whose alliance with the United States in this particular instance reeks of a necessary evil, especially as it pertains to the Kremlins uncomfortable support of the monstrous al-Assad.
What is known, however, is that President Trump’s anti-Assad airstrike was extremely efficient, with 59 out of 59 launched missiles hitting their intended target; an airfield that has been identified as the origin of the chemical weapons attack from earlier in the week.
The no-nonsense Tillerson is currently scheduled to visit Moscow next week on a diplomatic mission.