Late on Monday the 19th, this was reported by Russia’s Sputnik: “In areas where Russian aviation is conducting combat missions in the Syrian skies, any flying objects, including jets and unmanned aerial vehicles of the international coalition discovered west of the Euphrates River, will be followed by Russian air and ground defenses as air targets” — meaning ordered out, or else immediately shot down.
In international law, and as recognized by the U.N., Syria has been invaded by the United States, was never invited into the country but is instead there as an invader. Russia was invited in; Iran was invited in; but the U.S. are only invaders. And, now, Russia and Syria will start treating the U.S. as such.
When U.S. Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton repeatedly called for the U.S. government to establish a no-fly zone in Syria, she was proposing that the U.S. invasion of Syria become recognized officially by the U.S. government, and this would have meant immediate war by the U.S. against Syria, Russia, and Iran, in the battlefields of Syria. President Barack Obama had decided not to go that far — to war against Russia — but Hillary Clinton insisted on it. And now, Russia has actually done it — but (unlike if the U.S. had done it) legally, in defense of the sovereign government of Syria, not as an invader. (Furthermore, most Syrians support that government, and 82% of Syrians blame the U.S. for the invasion of Al Qaeda and other jihadist forces to overthrow it — most of which are foreigners — into Syrian territory.)
If the U.S. fails to apologize and to find some way to save face, but instead persists in its invasion, even after this warning, then either the U.S. or Russia will win that traditional war in Syria. At that point, the losing side will have only one way to win the war in Syria, and that way would be to go to nuclear war against the other side, bombing the other side’s homeland — Russia, or else the United States — by means of a blitz all-out nuclear atack, in order to obliterate as much of the other side’s nuclear weapons before they’re fired as possible, and thus minimize the retaliation, and so ‘win’. Doing that — being the first to unleash armageddon — would ‘win’ the war, but destroy the entire planet.
However, if the U.S. regime instead simply backs down now, before there will be any hot war against Russia, then big history will be made, and the world will never be the same again.
So, in either case, the world will never be the same again: the future is going to be very unlike the past, regardless of whether there even will be a future.
UPDATE: 3PM in NYC:
Al Masdar News, the go-to site for the latest news regarding the Syrian war, headlines, as of 3PM Eastern time, “Pentagon changes disposition of US-led coalition aircraft in Syria”, and reports, from several reliable sources, such as Joseph Dunford (pictured), the head of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, a U.S. climb-down, and a desire to cooperate with Russia in Syria. If this is not a lie (as so much from the U.S. government has turned out to be), then the U.S. will stop protecting its jihadists in Syria; and, consequently, the war in Syria will end on terms which are suitable to Syria, Russia, and Iran, but which have not heretofore been acceptable to the U.S.-Saudi (and other fundamentalist Sunni) coalition.
The signs, at least as of 3PM, are that Trump will quit the war against the Syrian government, regardless of how much this might disappoint the Sauds (and the Israelis). Looking at the way the Western press are reporting on the matter, they’re going to allow him to withdraw as quietly as possible. So, as soon as Russia made it clear that it’s willing to go all the way to defeat the U.S.-Saudi-Sunni-fundamentalist invasion, the West, apparently, will simply quit. All the jihadists in Syria will soon be scrambling to escape from there. Without U.S. protection, they can’t win. But will Russia, Iran, and Syria, simply kill them all, right there? If not, then those jihadists will end up going back ‘home’, wherever that might happen to be, and be far more dangerous in those countries than they had been there before.
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.