04/12/2018, 10.14
SYRIA

As tensions continue to escalate, Damascus conquers Eastern Ghouta

Moscow and Washington in vitriolic war of words. Western intervention in Syria has not yet been decided. With the Security Council frozen, any aggression against Syria would be "illegal". Putin appeals to common sense and calls the Israeli premier Netanyahu: refrain from acts that would make the situation worse. But Israel replies: we will not allow Iran to settle militarily in Syria.

Damascus (AsiaNews / Agencies) - A Syrian flag stands on top of a Douma building, decreeing government control over the city and, therefore, the entire area of ​​the Eastern Ghouta. This was reported by General Major Yuri Tevtushenko, head of the Russian Center for Peace and Reconciliation in Syria.

Meanwhile, tensions continue to rise in the region, now a geopolitical chessboard reminiscent of the Cold War, while the vitriolic exchanges between Moscow and Washington persist. Yesterday, US President Donald Trump replied with a tweet to Russia's warning that it would take down any rocket heading for Syria and attack the launching bases. "Get ready Russia," wrote Trump. "Because [the rockets] will arrive, beautiful and new and 'smart'". Moscow responded coolly: "Intelligent missiles should be directed against terrorists, not against legitimate governments".

Beyond the US president's statements, the Western response to the chemical attack on the Syrian regime on the city of Douma has not yet been defined. The United States, together with France and England, are evaluating the possibility of a military intervention against Damascus. Yesterday, French President Emmanuel Macron specified that any attack would exclusively target Syrian chemical equipment, ensuring that none of the allies of the Bashar al-Assad regime would be involved.

It should be noted that within the framework of the United Nations, any military action launched without the mandate enshrined in a Security Council resolution is a violation of international law. At the moment, the crossed vetoes of Russia and the US have effectively blocked the UN body. The only way to "legitimize" an attack against a sovereign country like Syria is legitimate defense, pursuant to art. 51 of the UN Charter.

Yesterday, Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed hope that "common sense" would prevail. According to observers, the Kremlin is worried that Russian soldiers will be injured or killed by a possible Western bombardment on Syria. The appeal is to direct "international relations" towards a "constructive path". However, the US president does not seem to have picked it up: Trump yesterday declared that the tensions between the two countries to be "the worst ever, even during the Cold War".

Added to the list of "red lines" - not to cross, on pain of a military attack - is the one being drawn by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the Israeli-Iranian front. The two countries are on a war footing since Israeli jets hit a Syrian base near Homs, killing 14 Iranian soldiers. Putin yesterday called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, asking him to "abstain from all the acts that would destabilize the situation even more". But the Israeli prime minister replied: Israel will not allow Iran to settle militarily in Syria.

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