Threat of US attack on Syria grows amid fall of “rebel” stronghold


Threat of US attack on Syria grows amid fall of “rebel” stronghold

Bill Van Auken

20 March 2018

The Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad is reportedly taking measures to prepare for a US military strike against the capital of Damascus.

Washington has escalated its threats of a direct military attack as the Syrian army, backed by Russian air power, has made decisive advances in its siege of the Damascus suburb of eastern Ghouta, one of the last strongholds of the Western-backed Islamist “rebels.”

In the past few days, tens of thousands of civilians have streamed out of the enclave, which has been controlled by the successor to the Syrian Al Qaeda affiliate, the Al Nusra Front, and its allies. Syrian government forces have recovered 80 percent of the area, dividing what remains into three isolated pockets, each of which is surrounded.

The imminent fall of eastern Ghouta is unfolding parallel to the overrunning of the Kurdish enclave of Afrin in northwestern Syria by the Turkish army and its proxy ground troops, the so-called Free Syrian Army, which is made up in large part of ISIS and Al Nusra Front fighters. The Turkish victory has sent some quarter of a million people fleeing for their lives.

The fall of eastern Ghouta to the Assad government represents a milestone in the failure of the Western-backed and CIA-orchestrated war for regime change initiated by the US and its allies in Syria seven years ago, utilizing Al Qaeda-linked militias as their proxy ground forces. The “rebel”-held territory has been utilized to launch mortar and rocket attacks on the Syrian capital, as well as to organize car bombings and other acts of terrorism.

With the retaking of the area by the government, Washington fears a loss of leverage in its attempt to salvage…

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