Former Joe Biden's adviser warns on angering Russia in Syria
Tonight the U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will arrive with the first official visit to Moscow for negotiations with his colleague Sergey Lavrov. The main topic of the talks is the problem of resolving the Syrian crisis. And a recent incident involving the use of chemical weapons and the U.S. response is also to be discussed.
On the night of April 7, the U.S. Navy launched a missile strike at the Syrian air base Shayrat. The attack was sanctioned personally by Donald Trump in response to the alleged use of chemical weapons against civilians by the official Damascus. Russia and Iran expressed their concern about the attack on a sovereign state in a joint statement and condemned unjustified unilateral actions by the U.S.
Despite the fact that such steps by made by Donald Trump were enthusiastically met by the American allies, the rapid reaction of the Russian side was followed: Russia suspended the memorandum of prevention incidents in the sky of Syria and announced its intentions to strengthen Syrian air defense.
The missile strike at the airbase demonstrated Trump's determination, but such expansive policy of the new president could lead to further escalation. The fact is that Trump and other official representatives of the State Department and the Ministry of Defense noted the single character of the military measures, however, the "hawks" in the U.S. Congress and the Middle Eastern allies require the continuation and increase in the intensity of strikes against Assad's troops.
If the U.S. chooses this way, then the prospect of a direct clash with Russia will multiply increase:
At first, Russia has a big military group in Syria: aircraft, special forces groups and military advisers, etc. All of them can be hurt in case of a massive attack from the United States.
Secondly, Russia, Iran and Syria will no longer refrain without responding any military provocations from the United States.
"As the afterglow and applause of the missile strikes fade, finding a way to advance American interests in Syria while avoiding a war with Russia is the urgent task at hand. After all, sinking into a Syrian quagmire would be bad enough. World War III would be far worse", - said Colin H. Kahl is associate professor in the security studies program at Georgetown University's school of foreign service. He served as Vice President Joe Biden's national security adviser.