Once again focusing on escalations of tensions with Russia, State Department spokesman Mark Toner today said that in addition to the “diplomatic” efforts the US is making in Syria, they are also considering conducting “military or other options.”
The US demonstrably is not conducting diplomatic efforts in Syria anymore, despite Toner’s claims to the contrary, as the US made a very public show of withdrawing from the diplomatic track yesterday, and condemning Russia on the way out.
Adding to the uncomfortable talk about military possibilities, Toner also declared the US to “always consider unilateral options when looking at a situation like Syria,” and while he insisted the US prefers to work with its coalition, it’s unlikely much of the coalition will eagerly follow them into a war with Russia.
Secretary of State John Kerry reiterated that the US wants nothing to do with Russia any more, condemning them as “irresponsible” for backing their long-standing allies in the Assad government, adding that despite ending contact with Russia the US is “not giving up on the Syrian people” and not abandoning their own goals.
Earlier today, Russia announced they are deploying S-300 anti-aircraft missiles to their naval base at Tartus, to defend naval personnel against any potential attacks. With the US-led campaign materially the only air operations in Syria not directly aligned with Russia, the underlying message is that they’re preparing for a unilateral US attack. That US officials reacted negatively to the deployment of purely defensive missiles only adds to this.