Syrian and allied forces are winning the battle of East Ghouta, about 80% of the enclave freed from US-supported terrorists.
Last week, Russian Chief of General Staff Gen. Valery Gerasimov said Washington is planning a false flag CW attack blamed on Syria, a pretext to attack its forces in East Ghouta, explaining:
In response to the staged incident, Pentagon “plans to launch a missile strike on the government-held districts of Damascus.”
“We have reliable information about militants preparing to falsify a government chemical attack against civilians.”
On Tuesday, Russia’s Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said “(t)he possibility of the use of chemical agents by militants persists with a view to accusing Syrian troops of using chemical weapons in the future. Three such attempts have been foiled over the past week.”
A same day statement by Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov warned Washington to abandon its plan to attack Syrian forces – in response to a staged CW attack, falsely blamed on government troops.
Ryabkov stressed that “(a)ny such unlawful use of force, similar to what happened almost a year ago at the Shayrat airbase, would be an act of aggression against a sovereign state,” adding:
With East Ghouta nearing liberation, “any provocations are possible, and we need to be prepared. Provocations could include staging the use of chemical weapons by government troops.”
Falsely accusing Russia of poisoning father and daughter Skripal, something it had nothing to do with, exacerbated things.
Ryabkov called the false accusation “a large-scale, multi-layer provocation, which is being conducted via a whole series of unlawful methods.”
It seriously complicates Russian relations with the West.
On Tuesday, Trump called Putin to congratulate him on his election triumph. The call came days after illegal US sanctions were imposed on 19 Russian individuals and five entities – for nonexistent Kremlin US election meddling and nonexistent cyberattacks.
Reportedly both leaders discussed Syria among other issues – no details provided other than Trump saying “(w)e had a very good call, and I suspect that we’ll probably be meeting in the not-too-distant future to discuss the arms race, which is getting out of control.”
A separate White House statement said both leaders discussed “the state of bilateral relations and resolved to continue dialogue about mutual national security priorities and challenges.”
“President Trump congratulated President Putin on his March 18 re-election, and emphasized the importance of denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula,” adding:
“The two leaders confirmed the need for the United States and Russia to continue our shared efforts on strategic stability.”
Days earlier, Trump allied with Theresa May, Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel in a joint statement, criticizing Moscow for the Skripal poisoning incident it had nothing to do with.
Does Trump’s congratulatory call to Putin suggest Washington may back off from a false flag provocation in Syria to be used as a pretext to attack government forces?
Earlier, Sergey Lavrov warned of serious consequences if a US attack occurs.
Both countries are reluctant to engage with each other militarily. Is it enough to keep conflict from escalating more than already?
Resolving it is another issue entirely. Despite years of good faith Russian efforts, resolution is nowhere in sight.