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Failed UK attack on Syria and the fog of war

Syria

Over one hundred missiles were fired at Syria last weekend by British, French and American naval and air forces following an alleged chemical weapons attack in an area close to Damascus controlled by a jihadist faction called the ‘Army of Islam’, which is near to surrender after sustained Syrian, Iranian and Russian bombardment.

Everyone seems to agree that three targets were hit during the NATO attacks, including the Barzeh scientific research centre, to the north of Syria’s capital city, Damascus, built in the seventies with the help of French scientists.

The NATO combined forces claim it was hit by 76 missiles in all, while further missiles, eight of them fired by RAF Tornado bombers, hit the remaining two targets close to Homs, near the Lebanese border, all associated with chemical weapons development apparently, even though the Syrians say they have destroyed all such weapons.

The Syrians (and Russians) dispute the NATO claims, saying over seventy missiles were shot down and more targets were missed than hit, bar the three claimed by the British, French and US governments.

Even though the US-led coalition said the strikes were a “one-off” and did not involve an escalation of the US and UK’s involvement in the Syrian civil war, last year the US fired 59 cruise missiles at a Syrian air base following another alleged chemical attack against jihadist rebels though the base was operating again within a few days.

Both chemical weapons attacks are disputed by the Syrians and Russians and little evidence is available to confirm whether they actually happened or who carried them out if they did occur as claimed by the media.

Days before, the Syrians, Iranians and Russians claimed air strikes had been carried out by the Israeli air force in southern Syria, though unlike during previous Israeli air raids against targets in the country, no Israeli war planes were shot down this time.

The West has frequently been criticised for not intervening more in Syria, even though two thousand US and UK troops are currently assisting the Kurds against Islamic State in northern Syria, an engagement now complicated by a Turkish intervention against the Kurdish demand for national self-determination in the region, which could easily spread to Turkey itself. And military backing has been supplied by the Americans, Saudis, Turks and Gulf States to jihadist factions fighting against the legitimate government of President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus since 2011 resulting in half a million dead and injured and millions more displaced due to the fighting..

And other conflicts, such as those in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, where the West has openly intervened since 9/11, have also been a failure.

Afghanistan is close to twenty years of sustained conflict with civilian casualties in record numbers, thanks to NATO military intervention in that troubled country.

Iraq has seen terrible violence, thanks to the US and UK-sponsored regime change in 2003, with hundreds of thousands killed or injured during the ongoing war, while Libya is divided between rival militias, most of them linked to al-Qaida or Islamic State.

Now, following that repeated failure, there are growing fears of Russian revenge against those involved in the NATO air strikes against Syria, including cyber attacks and the release of embarrassing material against British, French and American politicians also linked to the alleged nerve agent attack against a Russian double agent and his daughter living in Salisbury, in southern England, which those politicians claim was carried out by the Russian state.

As with the chemical weapon attacks in Syria, there is mixed evidence with regards the provenance and scale of the alleged nerve agent attack in Salisbury.

And, despite the fog of war, if you ask ordinary people living in any of those countries mentioned above, subject to Western intervention, they will say things were much better under the Taliban, Saddam Hussain and Colonel Gadaffi!