The US Navy Destroyer USS Ross has arrived on-station in the eastern Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Syria.
Speculation that the US/UK and France are building forces in preparation to attack Syria is rampant, but several new twists to this story have taken place.
For instance, today, Turkish troops and heavy armor began entering Idlib Province, Syria. This is the first time the Turkish Army has entered that area and their decision to do so is raising all sorts of questions.
Another troubling twist is that the USS Ross seems to be . . . alone. Facing-off against 17+ Russian fleet vessels also in the Mediterranean off the coast of Syria. Speculation is now saying the USS Ross may have been sent to be intentionally "sacrificed" to the Russian fleet as a pretext to go to war!
We begin from three days ago: Russia says that its diplomats in Washington formally reached out to US officials and have briefed them on an impending plan by al-Qaeda insurgents in Idlib to stage a false flag chemical attack in order to provoke a Western military attack on Damascus.
This week Moscow has claimed to be in possession of firm intelligence that it says shows armed groups in Idlib are transporting chemicals to area sites, in preparation for the coming major Syrian Army and Russian offensive on the contested province in northwest Syria.
According to RT News, it appears that the State Department confirmed that the rare meeting did take place:
Anatoly Antonov, the Russian ambassador in Washington, confirmed to the media on Wednesday that he had met with the US special representative to Syria, James Jeffrey, and David M. Satterfield, acting assistant secretary of state for near eastern affairs.
The attendees of the rare meeting and the fact that it had taken place earlier this week was revealed by US State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert during a daily briefing.
The meeting was reportedly held this past Monday, according to Russian Ambassador Antonov, who told RT it was "constructive and professional".
Pentagon and US officials have continued pushing the gambit on Syria, with multiple statements last week and this week which appear to be setting the stage to play the "Assad is gassing his own people" card should so much as an inkling of an allegation emerge.
With the dominant al-Qaeda group in control of Idlib, Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), (Formely al-Nusra Front) facing imminent defeat in what is likely to be a lengthy, grinding final showdown, they have every incentive to claim Syrian government forces are using sarin or another internationally banned substance.
RT News continues:
At the meeting, Russia officially conveyed its concerns over reports that Washington together with France and the UK is gearing up for another set of airstrikes in Syria under the pretext of a chemical attack, that would immediately be blamed on the Syrian government. Moscow has asked Washington to "provide the facts without delay"to substantiate the new allegations that Damascus uses chemical weapons against its own people.
Russia's ambassador to the US also reportedly identified the White Helmets as among the actors on the ground assisting in organizing such a potential provocation.
Concerning the specifics of what was shared with the State Department officials at the meeting, RT reports:
Intelligence that Russia has gathered has been shared with the US, and the diplomats were told "in detail" about the provocation against civilians being prepared by Al-Nusra Front (now known as Tahrir al-Sham) in the northwestern province of Idlib.
The Russian Defense Ministry reported earlier that Tahrir al-Sham was plotting a chemical attack that would then be misrepresented as another "atrocity" by the "Syrian regime." Eight canisters of chlorine have been delivered to a village near Jisr al-Shughur city, and a specially trained group of militants, prepped by the British security company Olive, also arrived in the area to imitate a rescue operation to save the civilian "victims." Militants plan to use child hostages in the staged incident, according to Antonov.
Such a scenario sounds similar to what Russia alleges happened in April 2017 in Idlib, where there was never so much as an on-the-ground investigation to collect evidence to back the Khan Sheikhoun claimed "sarin attack" incident, which resulted in the Trump White House bombing Syria on mere "rebel" claims and YouTube videos, before waiting for any confirmed scientific proof to back the claims.
To this day the international chemical investigative body and watchdog, the OPCW, has yet to visit the site due to its being controlled by al-Qaeda forces.
Meanwhile, a former Pentagon official, Michael Maloof, told RT that if a major publicized chemical attack claim is made and is quickly echoed in the media, the "burden of proof" won't matter as Washington and its allies will use it as leverage anyway.
“If history is any precedent, they won’t bother. They did not investigate the last episode before they launched a missile attack into Syria and there’s no reason to suspect that they will this time either,” Maloof said.
“The whole idea is to embarrass Moscow and to intimidate Damascus,” he said.
It appears that Russia is exhausting every diplomatic channel to prevent such a scenario from unfolding; however, mainstream US pundits are already accusing Russia of paving the way for a Syrian regime chemical attack via preliminary propaganda.
However, its difficult to understand what Moscow and Damascus would stand to gain from doing the one thing that ensures greater Western military intervention at the very moment Assad stands with the clear momentum of victory on this side.
Considering allegations have been hurled at Assad and the Syrian Army before the Idlib assault has even begun, the past week's war of words signals an unprecedented level of telegraphing intentions for leverage on the battlefield.
Starting last week with John Bolton's promise that the US "will respond very strongly," American officials' threats have gotten progressively more specific, with the State Department spokesperson this week saying "we will respond to any verified chemical weapons use in Idlib or elsewhere in Syria ... in a swift and appropriate manner" while also vowing to "hold Assad responsible".
But it appears Monday's meeting constitutes a back-channel attempt to calm the fast intensifying situation.
Today, Thursday August 30, troops and tanks from the Turkish Army began entering Idlib. This is unprecedented and unexplained.
The photos below show the convoys entering Idlib:
In past years, Turkey has SUPPORTED the terrorist groups in Syria, namely ISIS and al-Qaida. So why are they now moving heavy armor and troops into the final area controlled by terrorists in Syria, on the eve of a major Syrian Army offensive to clean-out those terrorists? Whose side are they on?
(HT Remark: This has betrayal written all over it.)
The US is increasing the number of cruise missile carriers in the Middle East to attack Syrian government forces, to be activated after the planned staging (hoaxing or false-flagging) of alleged chemical weapons in jihadist-held Idlib province, the official representative of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said on Monday, Russian Ministry of Defense, Major General Igor Konashenkov.
“The United States continues to increase the number of cruise missile carriers in the Middle East in connection to the preparations in Idlib province for yet another provocation with the alleged ‘use of chemical weapons,'” said the representative of the Russian entity.
According to the Major General, the American destroyer equipped with 28 Tomahawk missiles that recently entered the waters of the Mediterranean Sea could attack any part of Syria.
“On Aug. 25, the US Navy’s Ross destroyer, armed with 28 Tomahawk missiles, entered the Mediterranean Sea. Its range of action allows for attacks on the entire territory of Syria,” he said.
In addition, formerly another US destroyer, the 56-unit USS The Sullivans arrived in the Persian Gulf, while a B-1B bomber with 24 cruise missiles was moved to the US military base in Qatar.
Konashenkov detailed that the “preparations are a further confirmation of US intentions to take advantage of the staging organized by combatants of the [Al-Qaeda affiliated] Tahrir al-Sham [formerly the Al-Nusra Front], with the active involvement of the British secret services in Idlib province, with alleged ‘use of chemical weapons’ by Syrian forces.” Here he refers chiefly to the British MI6.
Yesterday, Igor Konashenkov reported that the Russian Center for Reconciliation in Syria has information according to which foreign experts would have arrived at the de-escalation zone at Idlib to stage a “chemical attack”.
This comes as the Syrian Army, spearheaded by their 4th Mechanized Units, Tiger Forces and Republican Guards, make final preparations to liberate the jihadist-held province. The operation against Idlib is expected to begin imminently.
Observers point out that the USS Ross seems to be the only US Navy Destroyer in the Med off the Syria coast. If that vessel launches missiles against Syria, it could conceivably come under attack from Russian naval forces which vastly outnumber and outgun the Destroyer. The ship would likely be sunk.
Is that what the US is hoping for? How would the US public react to the sinking of a US Navy Destroyer by the Russian fleet? . . . . War.
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