What Trump's Warning to Russia over Syria Could Mean
by Matthew RJ Brodsky
Perspectives with Tracy Alexander / i24News
April 11, 2018
For years Putin has played a weak hand strongly in Syria but it may have overplayed it this time. What does Trump's warning to Russia mean for the region? Matthew RJ Brodsky joins Tracy Alexander on i24News "Perspectives" to discuss its regional impact.
Russia's adventurism has met with Western mush instead of steel since it kicked off its Syria campaign in September 2015. That seems to be changing with President Trump's warning and the actions he indicates could follow. None of these developments are positive for the Axis of Resistance - Russia, Iran, and Assad.
It is not likely that the U.S. would target Russia's bases – the Khmeimim airbase or its naval outpost in Tartous. In fact, it is hard to believe it would directly target Russia. But it may well strike at Assad's assets such as its airfields, bases, storage facilities, chemical weapons facilities, and palaces and if Russians or Iranians happen to be there, they would get hit. Israel has operated under a lesser version of these rules for some time now. The U.S. may finally play a balancing role in a regional dynamic in which Russia and Iran have made considerable gains at the expense of America's allies.
Israel's strike on the T-4 base a few days earlier appears to be related to the enforcement of its own red lines and not tied into the American reaction to the reported use of a nerve agent by the Assad regime. Putin and Netanyahu still maintain a working de-confliction arrangement, despite Moscow's annoyance over Israel's recent strike. If Israel remains on the sideline of a U.S. military engagement, and Iran and Hezbollah do as well, there's no reason for the conflict to go beyond a strike that establishes a new and more advantageous level of deterrence. That could reset the rules of the game and pose a significant problem for the Axis of Resistance by raising the costs for its deadly decisions. Such an outcome would work out in favor of the U.S. and its allies.