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World Direct clash between US, Russia in Syria unlikely: analysts

20:29  10 april  2018
20:29  10 april  2018 Source:   afp.com

Analysis: How a secret Russian airlift helps Syria's Assad

  Analysis: How a secret Russian airlift helps Syria's Assad In a corner of the departures area at Rostov airport in southern Russia, a group of about 130 men, many of them carrying overstuffed military-style rucksacks, lined up at four check-in desks beneath screens that showed no flight number or destination.When a Reuters reporter asked the men about their destination, one said: "We signed a piece of paper – we're not allowed to say anything. Any minute the boss will come and we'll get into trouble.

With Donald Trump weighing strikes on Syria but Moscow warning of “grave repercussions” to any military action, an escalation seems increasingly likely even as analysts play down a direct clash between Russia and the US . Washington has promised a “forceful” response to an alleged chemical

Relations between Russia and the US have taken a nosedive in recent years over the Syria conflict as well as Moscow's annexation of Crimea, accusations of interference in the 2016 US election and most recently a spy poisoning in the UK. President Vladimir Putin launched what appeared to be a new

Analysts say the war of words between Russia and the US will continue © Provided by AFP Analysts say the war of words between Russia and the US will continue

With Donald Trump weighing strikes on Syria but Moscow warning of "grave repercussions" to any military action, an escalation seems increasingly likely even as analysts play down a direct clash between Russia and the US.

Washington has promised a "forceful" response to an alleged chemical weapons attack on Saturday that killed at least 40 people in Douma, the last rebel outpost in the Syrian capital.

But the Syrian regime and its backers in Moscow have denied a chemical attack took place, with Russian officials insisting the claims are a pretext to justify further intervention by the West.

As Trump Seeks Way Out of Syria, New Attack Pulls Him Back In

  As Trump Seeks Way Out of Syria, New Attack Pulls Him Back In A reported chemical attack on a Damascus suburb seems to raise the political and military stakes as President Trump charts the United States’ future in Syria. On one hand, he has emphatically expressed his desire to bring American troops home as soon as possible in line with his “America First” approach. On the other, he has vowed to punish some bad actors, and withdrawing from Syria could open him up to criticism at home and abroad.“The withdrawal of U.S.

The Russian and US armies exchange information on Syria under agreements aimed at avoiding collisions between their planes or the accidental deaths of soldiers in strikes. The battle for influence between Washington and Moscow is currently being played out in the UN, where both powers have

Moscow (AFP) - With Donald Trump weighing strikes on Syria but Moscow warning of "grave repercussions" to any military action, an escalation seems increasingly likely even as analysts play down a direct clash between Russia and the US .

The Russian ministry of defence has previously said it will fire at any US craft that strikes government areas of Damascus, where Russian officials are also based.

Boris Dolgov, an analyst at the Russian Institute of Oriental Studies, however, told AFP the US was more likely to intervene via proxies.

He suggested an attack would come from armed opposition groups supported by the US, "Kurdish fighters or non-American special services".

Alexey Malashenko, a specialist in the Syria conflict, said Washington and Moscow were more likely to remain engaged in a war of words.

"Moscow understands that a strike (against US forces) will bring about a response and it is not certain that Russia will emerge victorious from such a conflict," he told AFP.

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Relations between Russia and the US have taken a nosedive in recent years over the Syria conflict as well as Moscow's annexation of Crimea, accusations of interference in the 2016 US election and most recently a spy poisoning in the UK. President Vladimir Putin launched what appeared to be a new

United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley votes against a draft resolution presented by Russian Federation during a Security Council meeting. Haley said the Russian draft would have allowed Russia to choose the investigators and assess the outcome of the investigation.

"Russia risks losing allies such as Turkey or even Assad. There's only one thing for them to do -- stay still and puff out their cheeks."

But Malashenko said those in power in Moscow could be "unpredictable".

As early as mid-March, Russian Foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said Syrian rebels were preparing "provocations" involving chemical weapons in Eastern Ghouta, where Douma is located.

- 'Very, very dangerous' -

In April 2017, Donald Trump ordered strikes on a military base in Syria in response to a gas attack blamed on the Syrian regime that killed more than 80 civilians.

The strikes provoked no more than protest from Moscow.

This year at least five Russians working for a private security firm in Syria were killed and dozens more injured in American strikes, but again the incident did not draw a military response from Moscow.

The Russian and US armies exchange information on Syria under agreements aimed at avoiding collisions between their planes or the accidental deaths of soldiers in strikes.

US, British, French air strikes target Syrian chemical capabilities

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"If the USA confirms chemical weapons were used, I think we get a strike on Syria ". The rival proposals put the Security Council on course for a clash that Warning that any military action against Syria 's government could have "grave repercussions", the Russian ambassador also accused US , France

MOSCOW — Four Russian nationals, and perhaps dozens more, were killed in fighting between At no point, an American military spokesman said, was there any chance of direct conflict between “ We don’t have data about other Russians who could be in Syria .” The Kremlin said much the same

The battle for influence between Washington and Moscow is currently being played out in the UN, where both powers have proposed resolutions to investigate the alleged attack.

The rival proposals put the Security Council on course for a clash that could trigger vetoes of both measures.

After US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley promised a response "either way", Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said he feared Washington was looking for a military option.

Such a move would be "very, very dangerous" he said.

Relations between Russia and the US have taken a nosedive in recent years over the Syria conflict as well as Moscow's annexation of Crimea, accusations of interference in the 2016 US election and most recently a spy poisoning in the UK.

President Vladimir Putin launched what appeared to be a new arms race when he unveiled a range of "invincible" new nuclear weapons at his state of the nation address in March.

Russia first intervened in Syria in 2015, turning the tables in the multi-front civil war in favour of ally President Bashar al-Assad.

Analysis: Syrians Face Hard Lesson. Assad Can Still Gas His Own People .
The conflict in Syria has demonstrated a larger truth: While it is easy to blow up its chemical facilities, it is also relatively simple for the Assad government to reconstitute them elsewhere.“We struck a deal where we got 100 percent of the chemical weapons out,” he said a few weeks later, as an American ship destroyed 600 metric tons of poisonous agents.

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