Did you know? The Patriot Post is funded 100% by its readers. Help us stay front and center in the fight for Liberty and support the 2022 Year-End Campaign.

Lewis Morris / June 21, 2017

The Escalating Tension in Syria

U.S. shoots down first enemy fighter in nearly 20 years and Russia issues its own threats.

The conflict in Syria got significantly more complicated over the last couple of days with Russia now threatening to target U.S. aircraft protecting anti-Assad forces on the ground.

On Sunday, a U.S. F/A-18 Hornet shot down a Syrian-piloted SU-22 bomber that was targeting U.S.-allied Syrian Democratic Forces near Taqba. The Russians, who may have been just as upset about the downing of one of their Soviet-era clunkers as they were about an attack on their Syrian ally, boldly announced that they would target any U.S. or allied planes operating over Western Syria. They also shut down the emergency communications channel that allowed U.S. and Russian military leaders to share movement of forces to prevent military mishaps.

In other words, if the U.S. wants to prevent an accidental engagement with Russian forces, then it should steer clear of the area west of the Euphrates River and stop protecting its anti-Assad allies on the ground.

This level of escalation was not necessarily inevitable when the Syrian civil war threatened to destabilize the region and created an epic humanitarian crisis in 2011. But thanks to the feckless foreign policy of former president Barack Obama, America is now engaged in a battle of wills with Bashar al-Assad, Vladimir Putin and Iran, an axis dedicated to propping up Assad’s regime and emasculating America at the same time.

Obama’s policy, which consisted of leading from behind (i.e., letting other countries do the work) while giving tiresome moral lectures about the “right side of history,” only served to embolden Syria. Russia was all too eager to join the fight on Assad’s side. It was an opportunity to reestablish its presence in the region, prove its international might, and provide a counterweight to the U.S. — which has pretty much been that country’s one standing order of foreign policy for the last hundred years.

President Trump is now left dealing with the consequences of Obama’s bungling of the Syrian conflict, Iraq, al-Qaida and his creation of the Islamic State. Whatever Obama’s mistakes, and they were legion, Trump now is faced with managing a conflict that is evolving in Syria.

The Islamic State’s forces have been rolled back to the point where defeat now seems a realistic and not-far-off possibility. This leaves the anti-Assad and pro-Assad forces with little left to fight except each other. The Russians and Syrians have been able to blame their indiscriminate attacks on civilians on the Islamic State terrorists, but with fewer terrorists left to fight, they can no longer hide behind that flimsy excuse.

On the flip side, the SDF and its U.S. protectors will now increasingly find themselves in direct engagement with Assad’s forces. It’s unlikely that Assad will accept the partition of his country, especially with Russia in his corner. Emboldened by his allies and his experience with a spineless U.S. president, he aims to fight for the whole of Syria.

President Donald Trump, who for some reason once believed that Putin would be an ally in fighting the Islamic State, now finds himself having to prove again America’s resolve in the Middle East. America’s actions on Sunday are a good step in the right direction.

Some experts claim the Russians are merely bluffing in their threat to shoot at American planes. This could merely be a test of just how far America will go to honor its commitments to its allies and defend its national interests. Time will tell if this is indeed the case.

Still think Trump and the Russians are in cahoots together?

Start a conversation using these share links:

Who We Are

The Patriot Post is a highly acclaimed weekday digest of news analysis, policy and opinion written from the heartland — as opposed to the MSM’s ubiquitous Beltway echo chambers — for grassroots leaders nationwide. More

What We Offer

On the Web

We provide solid conservative perspective on the most important issues, including analysis, opinion columns, headline summaries, memes, cartoons and much more.

Via Email

Choose our full-length Digest or our quick-reading Snapshot for a summary of important news. We also offer Cartoons & Memes on Monday and Alexander’s column on Wednesday.

Our Mission

The Patriot Post is steadfast in our mission to extend the endowment of Liberty to the next generation by advocating for individual rights and responsibilities, supporting the restoration of constitutional limits on government and the judiciary, and promoting free enterprise, national defense and traditional American values. We are a rock-solid conservative touchstone for the expanding ranks of grassroots Americans Patriots from all walks of life. Our mission and operation budgets are not financed by any political or special interest groups, and to protect our editorial integrity, we accept no advertising. We are sustained solely by you. Please support The Patriot Fund today!


“Our cause is noble; it is the cause of mankind!” —George Washington

The Patriot Post is protected speech, as enumerated in the First Amendment and enforced by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, in accordance with the endowed and unalienable Rights of All Mankind.

Copyright © 2022 The Patriot Post. All Rights Reserved.

The Patriot Post does not support Internet Explorer. We recommend installing the latest version of Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome.