“Grave Mistake”: Trump Threatens Assad Over Impending Idlib Assault

“Grave Mistake”: Trump Threatens Assad Over Impending Idlib Assault

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It seems to happen just about every September and April over the past years: every time the Syrian proxy war seems to have receded from international media attention for a period of a long summer or a winter, a mass attention-grabbing event or massacre happens to suddenly yank the world’s (and the White House’s) focus right back on the war and a return to intervention and escalation mode

And curiously, this seems to occur the moment Assad and the Syrian Army alongside the Russians are on the path to overwhelming victory.

On Monday evening of Labor Day, President Donald Trump weighed in with what’s clearly a veiled threat warning Syria and its allies via Twitter:

President Bashar al-Assad of Syria must not recklessly attack Idlib Province. The Russians and Iranians would be making a grave humanitarian mistake to take part in this potential human tragedy. Hundreds of thousands of people could be killed. Don’t let that happen!

And immediately following, US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley tweeted her own statement based on the president’s words, while specifically invoking the US charge that Assad plans to use chemical weapons.

Haley wrote: All eyes on the actions of Assad, Russia, and Iran in Idlib. #NoChemicalWeapons

These latest threats confirm what we previously reported over the weekend: that the US is seeking to create a quagmire for Russia and Iran in order to pressure both countries to acquiesce to Washington’s demands. In the case of Iran the White House is seeking new negotiations after the US pulled out of the 2015 nuclear deal (JCPOA) last May.

In 2013, top Obama Administration officials described their policy in the Syrian War as one of keeping the war going. The administration wanted a big seat at the table for a political settlement, which officials clarified meant ensuring that the war kept going so that there was never a clear victorThe Trump Administration is now slipping into that same destructive set of priorities in Syria. 

The Washington Post last week quoted an unnamed Administration official as saying that “right now, our job is to help create quagmires [for Russia and the Syrian regime] until we get what we want.”

During the two prior Aprils, Trump ordered massive airstrikes on Syrian government targets after blaming Damascus for claimed chemical weapons attacks on civilians. 

Trump’s latest tweet, for the first time addressing the final showdown over Idlib specifically, singles out “the Russians and Iranians” as “making a grave humanitarian mistake” should they “recklessly attack Idlib Province”.

Thus the president seems to be precisely calculating that the battle for Idlib can be used an opportunity for putting increased pressure and global attention on Tehran and Moscow.

So clearly, something big is coming  possibly in the form of a “rebel” claimed “provocation” as the Pentagon and US officials have over the past week continued pushing the gambit, setting the stage to play the “Assad is gassing his own people” card should so much as an inkling of a White Helmets allegation emerge, in an unprecedented level of telegraphing intentions for leverage on the battlefield.

Except someone should remind the president that the “rebel” coalition in control of this major “final holdout” is but the latest incarnation of al-Qaeda, calling itself Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and has held the province, the capital city of which is Idlib city, since a successful Western and Gulf ally sponsored attack on the area in 2015.

Regardless, it now appears the US stands ready to respond militarily to even the most unlikely and flimsiest of accusations issued by al-Qaeda terrorists and groups like the ‘White Helmets’ which operate alongside AQ-linked fighters.

And why wouldn’t Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham militants, now surrounded by Syrian and Russian forces and facing imminent defeat, redeem what’s essentially the US offer to “call in the Air Force” against Assad’s army? All they have to do is utter the words “chemical weapons attack!” to their friends in the Western media and in Washington.

But in terms of the trustworthiness of such a claim that’s surely being prepared, all the president needs to do is honestly listen to his own top State Department official, Special anti-ISIL envoy Brett McGurk, who accurately described in an unusually frank assessment a year ago:

“Idlib provice is the largest al-Qaeda safe-have since 9/11, tied to directly to Ayman al Zawahiri, this is a huge problem.”

But again, Trump’s latest words appear more designed for leverage — unfortunately with the threat now on record (similar to Obama’s 2013 “red line” threat) it matters little whether the president actually believes Assad will use chemical weapons or not.

via www.zerohedge.com


  • comment-avatar
    Nancy 3 months

    And if this should keep more innocent bystanders from being killed will the media and others still think he made the wrong decision? They already have learned he doesn’t make idle threats. Obama kept drawing red lines and then backing away from them to draw a new one as each was crossed. Trump hasn’t done that. What he’s told them he’s followed through with.

    • comment-avatar

      If it weren’t for President Obama we might not have done the intelligence community assessment that we did that set up a whole sequence of events which are still unfolding today including Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation. President Obama is responsible for that. It was he who tasked us to do that intelligence community assessment in the first place. CLAPPER’S OWN CONFESSION

  • comment-avatar
    LSRRCS 169 3 months

    Why is it we think we should be able to dictate to another country who their leader should be? Did we learn nothing from the disaster that we caused in Ukraine? Or the results of the ‘Arab spring’? Did we improve things in Libya when we killed Omar Quadaffi? All regime change is another form of cultural imperialism, us forcing our ideas on others. There is no other country that has the exact type of gov’t that we do. At the same time we readily accept repressive regimes like Saudi Arabia and many others in that region. How is it that Assad is worse than ISIS? Because that is what we will get if we continue on this course. So back off and back out because we are not and have not improved anything in that region. We have been the cause and instigator of the political instability. Time to quit that nonsence and expense.

  • comment-avatar
    von Potter 3 months

    Another BS media story………The media does everything it can to keep the chaos going and will tell millions of lies to do it……

    Secrets surrounding any Asian country & our goal would never allow those media liars to attend any meeting of that nature.

    • comment-avatar
      Diane 2 months

      That was my reaction also. I have noticed “conservative sights” now quoting from The Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, New York Times ect. Before I even read a story, I check to see the source. I think it is another diversion to keep the public from the FISA court scandal and Trump’s continued draining the swamp. I have seen the media resort to fear mongering and distraction way too many times.

    • comment-avatar
      Diane 2 months

      I also agree that the media does not have access to classified issues regarding national defense and I wish people would realize that. This is another attempt to sway voters against Trump. The real bogeyman are those behind spreading all these lies.

  • comment-avatar
    Janet 3 months

    Good for Trump for sending Assad a warning. The creep needs to be taken out. He is Hitler #2 as far as I am concerned. He killed so many innocent people and shame on Russia for defending this monster. We can’t allow more innocent people to be gassed and God only knows what else. Trump is the only one who has a pair and isn’t afraid to fight him. God is on our side so I am not afraid.

    • comment-avatar
      jackieray 2 months

      If Syria had the means to strike back over US attacks I bet you would not be so brave
      that is why we are so brave attacking small country’s 3000 miles away they cant hit back sort of like a schoolyard bully

  • comment-avatar
    David McDermott 3 months

    Syria not our business.

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