According to the German newspaper Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten the Obama administration supports a planned Saudi-led invasion of Syria in order to curb Russian support for Syria. The government of Bashar al-Assad invited Russia into the country to help fight US and Saudi supported jihadists in September, 2015.
US support for the planned Saudi invasion comes as al-Assad’s Syrian Arab Army (SAA) with the help of Iranian security forces, Hezbollah and Iraqi Shi’a fighters close in on the major jihadist stronghold of Aleppo and surrounding countryside.
The SAA has captured the towns of Nubul, Ta’ana and al-Zahraa and is closing in on Idlib while Kurdish troops secured several kilometers of the Gaziantep-Aleppo road and captured the town of Deir Jamal. Battles in Bayanoun, Kafr Naya, and Hayyan have defeated the jihadists and closed down a supply route over the Turkish border.
Russia has conducted airstrikes in support of the operation. The Russian Defense Ministry has confirmed it has put into service a large number of T-90 Vladimir tanks in Syria and the SAA is using the third generation battle tank along with assault groups to establish control over a declared security zone between the towns of Azaz and Jarabulus on the Syria-Turkey border.
Confronting the Russians
Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten notes “the Saudis who support several terrorist groups in Syria together with the US are especially interested to overthrow President Assad. The Americans, in turn, want to prevent Russians from playing the main part in the reorganization in Syria.”
The invasion, reportedly planned for March, and billed as an offensive against the Islamic State will put the Saudi coalition into direct conflict with the SAA, Iranian security forces, Hezbollah, Iraqi Shi’a militias and the Russians.
Turkey has demonstrated its willingness to confront Russia directly. In November a Turkish Air Force F-16 fighter jet shot down a Russian Sukhoi Su-24M bomber aircraft near the Syria–Turkey border. Turkey is a member of NATO.
Following the establishment of a Russian airbase in Syria near the Turkish border President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey may enter the war on the side of the jihadists fighting against the al-Assad government.
The downing of the Russian aircraft appears to be part of a larger strategy by the United States. In October the leading globalist Zbigniew Brzezinski told the Financial Times he advised Obama to disarm the Russians if they keep attacking the CIA-trained militants in Syria.
“The Russian naval and air presences in Syria are vulnerable, isolated geographically from their homeland,” Brzezinski said. “They could be ‘disarmed’ if they persist in provoking the US.”
“In these rapidly unfolding circumstances the US has only one real option if it is to protect its wider stakes in the region: to convey to Moscow the demand that it cease and desist from military actions that directly affect American assets,” he said.
The Saudi-led invasion is part of the strategy outlined by Brzezinski. It is designed to raise the stakes for Russia and its partners and drive Iran out of Syria.
The strategy, however, is highly risky and is likely to result in an escalation and widening of the conflict and, in a worse case scenario, precipitate direct conflict between the United States and Russia.