The Syrian Coalition calls upon our people and their active forces to close ranks and unite into one political, military, and popular front to confront the new challenges, combat terrorism in all its forms, and make every effort to topple the criminal regime of tyranny and sectarianism and work on the establishment of a democratic, pluralistic state.
April 7, 2017
The Syrian Coalition welcomes the strikes the United States launched on Shaerat airbase from which airplanes took off to carry out the horrific war crime of gassing our people, including women and children, in the town of Khan Sheikoun. The Coalition sees in these strikes the beginning of change where the words of US messages, for the first time, were translated into action to punishment perpetrator of the crime. It also sees in them a turning point in the American position on Syria as the Trump administration, unlike its predecessor, did not allow the murderous regime to continue its crimes of using internationally banned weapons.
The US strikes have sent strong messages to backers of the Assad regime, especially Iran and Russia, to stop playing tricks with the fate and blood of the Syrian people and attempting to gain the upper hand in Syria. They have sent messages that the United States will not allow any more breaches of international law and the disregard for international resolutions as well as the most heinous, terrorist acts against civilians and children.
The Syrian Coalition expresses its support for the action taken by President Trump and his intention to answer the cries of the Syrian people and children. The Coalition also supports President Trump’s calls for the formation of an international coalition of the civilized world to confront and work on deposing this deadly backward regime; contribute to the efforts to reach a just political solution; and continue the fight against forces of terrorism in all its forms, including the Assad regime and its allied sectarian militias.
The Syrian Coalition stresses that the Assad regime bears full responsibility for exposing our country to various types of domination, occupation, mandate, and destruction. The Coalition expresses hope for the continuation of the new US position to lead to the imposition of a no-fly zone; the neutralization of the military bases the Assad regime uses to target civilians; putting an end to the crimes being committed by the Assad regime and its allies; achieving a just political solution that puts an end to the Syrian tragedy and in which the head of the regime and his clique do not have any position or role to play; and help bringing them before the International Criminal Court.
The Syrian Coalition today calls upon our people and their active forces to close ranks and unite into one political, military, and popular front to confront the new challenges, combat terrorism in all its forms, and make every effort to topple the criminal regime of tyranny and sectarianism and work on the establishment of a democratic, pluralistic state.
Here’s an article that argues that Assad reverted to chemical weapons because his army is in such bad shape
I think http://en.etilaf.org correct to emphasize this:
“The Coalition also supports President Trump’s calls for the formation of an international coalition of the civilized world to confront and work on deposing this deadly backward regime; contribute to the efforts to reach a just political solution; and continue the fight against forces of terrorism in all its forms, including the Assad regime and its allied sectarian militias.”
The strike itself was designed to NOT commit to anything more than enforcing the regime’s agreement to not use chemical weapons. (Even provided warning so only aircraft that were grounded for repair were hit).
Tomahawks should have been used to take out anti-air defences in preparation for No Fly Zone and safe zones on the ground. This conveys the opposite impression of doing the absolute minimum required to not just be another Obama.
I agree with Guardian report of Joshua Landis saying regime has “depleted and exhausted army” and this helps explain use of nerve gas in defence of strategic Hama.
But Landis hopes the impression conveyed by Trump’s gesture is correct:
He is far from the only one. See my comments 102 and 103 in “Notes on Trump” thread page 2.
Maintaining ambiguity helps ease the transition for many in Trump’s base and many others who don’t want America committing to war in Syria. But “the process is already under way” as mentioned by Secretary of State Tillerson. Safe zones are coming soon and the deployments sealift pipeline may have already begun.
An interesting side effect is that Trump is now rid of his most obnoxious isolationist/racist/alt-right internet trolls who will be joined with the pseudo-left in hysterics about the globalist warmongers, while consolidating support among both mainstream Republicans and Democrats and leaving their leaders as confused as ever.
BTW Barry those comments are still “awaiting moderation” and lost on page 2. I would like to keep putting general notes on Trump there, while only Syria specific here.
My first reaction to the news of the US action was ‘about bloody time’ although as Arthur notes the due warning given was a mistake as it limited Syrian Air Force damage unnecessarily. The scale of the carnage – human carnage remember, is as audacious as it is callous and is reminiscent, within a western context, of Nazi fascism. The reaction of European countries in particular – this is where so many of the Syrian refugees have fled – has been craven. While accepting the refugees in large numbers and accepting international plaudits for their compassion in doing so, their failure to offer any significant support to the Syrian opposition and other anti Assad and anti fascist (or equivalent) forces has been objectively if not subjectively collusive. This sort of compassion begins to take on the creepy appearance of crocodile tears when applied to those inside of Syria bearing the brunt of the regimes barbarity. Air strikes against the regimes military hardware shows vastly more compassion than impotent and collusive hand wringing. Let’s hope Trump discovers more of it.
Actually I don’t think giving the warning was a mistake. They still want the Russians to help with ending the regime and bombing them is the sort of thing that would result in them pulling out instead.
At least as important is the US politics. As I said:
“Maintaining ambiguity helps ease the transition for many in Trump’s base and many others who don’t want America committing to war in Syria.”
See also the “Notes on Trump” thread and look right through it (page 1, paras 1-101) for background on the complicated US political situation:
“102. … The actual reaction so far is militarily as pointless as the Russians firing cruise missiles a while back. Those missiles are expensive and would not be used making potholes in deserted airport runways but to suppress anti-aircraft defences while fighter bombers incidentally dug much cheaper potholes and actually destroyed the aircraft – which is usually the main point of attacking an air base.
It is particularly ludicrous to spend about $100 million on missiles after first notifying the target to evacuate so neither aircraft nor fighters would be destroyed!
Politically however it is probably THE most effective way for Trump to “change” from his campaign remarks about allying with Assad and Russia against ISIS (while confronting Iran). It DOES end the “normalization” of both chemical warfare against civilians and expecting US military paralysis due to Congressional opposition.
The MANY opponents both in Trump’s base and the establishment Republicans and the Democrats will find that objecting to that and insisting on a Congressional veto is the least favourable terrain they could fight on. Plus the absurdity creates an ambiguity that it really could be just a symbolic gesture so they can hope instead of confronting right now.”
It is still early days but there are clearly a LOT of people who are not opposing it BECAUSE the ambiguity allows them to hold the illusion that the opening act of war in what the Red Cross now classifies as an “international armed conflict” is merely a “limited” and “proportional” act of “signalling”.
Don’t forget American public opinion has been nearly unanimous on “no more Iraqs” and Trump campaigned as an “America First” isolationist against Clinton on the basis that she was more likely to get entanged. The change HAS to be ambiguous.
Marx was critical of Lincoln for the mealy mouthed way he obscured the central issue in the American Civil War but ended up acknowledging that Lincoln had correctly handled things by taking each step after events had made it clear to his numerous opponents that there was no alternative.
LikeLiked by 1 person