In light of the U.S. beefing up its naval warship presence along Syria, ready to launch missile strikes any day now, Russia is sending clear warnings against any Western aggression. Russia’s foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, on Monday said a Western attack on Syria would result in the same sort of “catastrophe” as previous interventions in Iraq and Libya. “Hysteria is growing and confrontation is incited,” Lavrov said in his emergency press conference. He also stated that the U.S. and its European allies are accusing the Syrian government of the chemical weapons attacks to justify an attack without having actual proof.
“They cannot produce evidence, but keep on saying that the ‘red line’ has been crossed and they cannot wait any longer,” Lavor said. He also pointed out that “the use of force without a sanction of the U.N. Security Council is a crude violation of international law.”
Following the widely-broadcast accusations that the Syrian regime led by Assad used chemical weapons on its people, and John Kerry’s speech condemning Syria’s “undeniable” atrocities, U.S. defense officials declared that the Navy had sent a fourth warship armed with ballistic missiles into the eastern Mediterranean Sea. There are no immediate orders for any missile launch into Syria, but the message is clear.
In Kerry’s speech, he sternly stated, “Make no mistake: President Obama believes there must be accountability for those who would use the world’s most heinous weapons against the world’s most vulnerable people. Nothing today is more serious, and nothing is receiving more serious scrutiny.”
The rhetoric has been escalating, and while this back-and-forth of “will they or won’t they” arises at seemingly predictable intervals, this is the first time direct accusations of the Syria regime using chemical weapons against its own people have been made by the U.S. It is apparent that chemical weapons have been used, but there is no evidence it was the Syrian government. There is actually much talk about the chemical attack actually coming from the rebels.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman, Aleksandr Lukashevich, stated, “A homemade rocket with a poisonous substance that has not been identified yet – one similar to the rocket used by terrorists on March 19 in Khan al-Assal – was fired early on August 21 [at Damascus suburbs] from a position occupied by the insurgents.” He added that it seems that it was “a provocation planned in advance.” (Source: RT)
And of course, Syria is warning us as well. Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mikdad told the Associated Press, “They [Western forces] will bear the responsibility for such an attack, which will result in killing thousands of innocent people, as happened in Libya, and committing criminal actions against a sovereign country. Syria will not be an easy target.” He also warned of global “chaos”.
All of this heats up the already tense relationship between Russia and the United States. The options appear to be either diplomacy or military intervention at this point, and the signs of pressure and media overload seem to all point toward military action. This of course could lead to anything from a new Vietnam or Iraq to World War III. The cards are all on the table, and we know where the major players all stand. The next several days may determine the fate of the world over the coming months or years.