On June 16, 2018 Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump will for the first time meet to discuss bilateral issues and international affairs.
Among other things, the two leaders are expected to look into the current situation in Syria and the region, and its future development. As for now, US and Russia take opposing views on the Syrian crisis.
Washington cannot accept the fact that not only Bashar Assad has kept, but also strengthened his position as the head of the state. With the help of Russia Syrian forces successfully fight against international terrorism and Islamists. At the same time influential circles in America use the Pentagon to break up Syria, supporting anti-government armed units, whose policies are aimed at destroying the country.
The US is uneasy about Russia’s growing military and political influence in Syria and the region, viewing it as a real threat to their interests in the Mediterranean and the Middle East. The Pentagon has lost its absolute dominance in that part of the world after Russia was granted long-term lease of a naval base in Tartus sea port and Khmeimim Air Base.
Russia insists on a quick withdrawal from Syria of all foreign military forces that have been deployed there without an official request from the Syrian government. First of all it concerns the American military, who stay in Syria to form illegal armed units, made up of Kurds and what has been left of the opposition Islamist organizations, supplying them with weapons and military equipment.
In the past several weeks the US and its European NATO allies carried out two massive missile strikes against Syrian military objects – providing no convincing explanation. On top of that, according to media sources, local and foreign agents are arranging new provocations so that the Pentagon could get an excuse to get directly involved.
For that purpose a US carrier strike group led by the USS Harry S. Truman, which was already been engaged in missile strikes against Syria this spring, arrived to a location near Naples. Besides, more than 10 US strategic bomber aircraft have been redeployed to several air bases in Western Europe and nine tanker aircraft were sent to Israel.
The US rise its rhetoric against Iran, accusing Tehran of allegedly giving a green light to the secret development of a nuclear bomb. Washington vehemently insists on complete withdrawal of Iranian military personnel and foreign Shiite militias from Syria, and cutting off weapons supplies for the military and religious groups loyal to Tehran. So, during the upcoming Russia-US summit in Helsinki Donald Trump might suggest to Mr. Putin to “swap” Iranians for Americans.
If the two sides fail to reach an agreement of foreign troops’ withdrawal under this formula, Americans could again resort to military force, since the USS Harry S. Truman located around Naples is in one day distance from the opening fire limit in the eastern Mediterranean.
The US navy group there includes six warships: the aircraft carrier, USS Normandy guided-missile cruiser, as well as destroyers USS Arleigh Burke, USS Bulkeley, USS Forrest Sherman and USS Farragut. The USS Harry S. Truman carries 70 aircraft, including 36 carrying nuclear weapons, and 20 jet fighters. Other warships are armed with Tomahawk cruise missiles with nuclear and conventional warheads, with an operational range of up to 2 000 km. All cruisers and destroyers are equipped with air defense and ballistic missile defense systems. Typically, all the ballistic missile defense systems carry nuclear weapons. On top of that, the carrier strike group is supported by one or two nuclear-powered general purpose attack submarines, each of them capable to simultaneously launch 36 cruise missiles.
In other words a powerful nuclear arsenal is already deployed in the Mediterranean.
Could it be that the Americans have intentionally drawn up their navy closer to Syria and the Russian military bases on the eve of important talks with the Russians? Is it the gunboat diplomacy stepping into action?
However, veteran American generals maintain that “it’s better to stay away from Russians. They are crazy and if they hit back, it’s real bad”. And they must be right….