Are We About to Go to War in Syria?

Russia will shoot down American planes if we attack Assad. They have warned Obama several times of that probability. To back it up, they have shipped some of their most advanced anti-aircraft missile systems to Syria. The meaning couldn't be any clearer.

Washington Free Beacon:

The Russian Defense Ministry indicated Thursday that it would shoot down U.S.-led coalition jets that target Bashar al Assad’s forces with air strikes in Syria.

The warning followed a Washington Postreport that the Obama administration was again considering targeting Assad regime forces with strikes, after Russian and Syrian air strikes hammered civilians in the war-torn region of Aleppo as the latest ceasefire deal broke down.

Gen. Igor Konashenkov, a spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry, said at a briefing Thursday that any strikes against Syrian government forces would present a “clear threat” to Russian forces on the ground, according to statements published in Russian media outlets and other sources.

“Any missile or air strikes on the territory controlled by the Syrian government will create a clear threat to Russian servicemen,” Konashenkov said. He urged the U.S. military to “carefully consider the possible consequences” of such strikes.

His remarks came one day after Russia announced that it had deployed more advanced missile defense systems to Syria.

“Today, the Syrian army has effective S-200, Buk, and other air defense systems, which have undergone technical renovation in the past year,” Konashenkov said Thursday.

“I remind US ‘strategists’ that air cover for the Russian military bases in Tartus and Hmeymim includes S-400 and S-300 anti aircraft missile systems, the range of which may come as a surprise to any unidentified flying objects,” he said.

Konashenkov also suggested that Moscow forces would not “have time” to determine what country was responsible for a hypothetical strike targeting pro-government forces before responding.

It's too late to save Aleppo, too late to save the rebellion, too late to stop Assad and Putin. The endgame is now being played out as President Assad has offered amnesty to fighters in Aleppo who surrender. The Syrian army is advancing in the eastern part of the city where most of the fighters who remain have been holding out. It won't be long now.

Committing American forces to a lost cause is immoral and stupid. Three or four years ago, intervention may have made a difference and saved hundreds of thousands of lives. But now, it would be a futile gesture -- the last gasp of American influence in the Middle East.