Despite the fact that both Israel and the U.S. have silently watched the butchering of millions of people in Syria, their aggression against the attacks in East Ghouta reveals another reason for disturbance.
In a recent major offensive, the Syrian regime along with the Iranian-backed militias and aerial support by Russia is close to recapturing the long besieged town of East Ghouta.
Amid relentless attacks, thousands of civilians died in less than two months while hundreds suffocated to death after the use of chemical weapons by the regime on Saturday. As a result of the ruthlessness of the regime and its backers,
civilians began fleeing while the main opposition group, Jaish al-Islam, of the area declared that it was ready to evacuate its positions and fronts. It also agreed to release prisoners in accordance with the regime's demand. The Associated Press (AP) quoted Syrian state-affiliated al-Ikhbariya TV reporting that, "More than 100 buses entered the town on Sunday night to take the fighters and their families to Jarablus."
Despite the fact that the U.S. has remained silent against the use of chemical weapons and other massacres committed by conventional weapons, this time they responded harshly, bringing a military operation forward.
U.S. President Donald Trump called Bashar Assad an "animal," saying there would be "big price" for this "mindless chemical attack". Slightly a year ago the president had ordered dozens of cruise missiles to be fired at a Syrian air base. This time he also mentioned Russian President Vladimir Putin in one of his tweets, saying, "Area of atrocity is in lockdown and encircled by Syrian Army, making it completely inaccessible to outside world. President Putin, Russia and Iran are responsible for backing Animal Assad. Big price to pay. Open area immediately for medical help and verification. Another humanitarian disaster for no reason whatsoever. SICK!"
His excited expressions came shortly after he declared his will to pull out the U.S. troops from Syria. However, his intention was to end the so-called fight against Daesh. Ghouta is a different matter, in fact.
Since the very first times of the Syrian civil war, the capital, Damascus, was surrounded by the opposition groups. The capital's suburbs were held by several opposition groups, receiving aid from the U.S. and the Gulf countries, mainly from Saudi Arabia. This surrounding was crucial to prevent the regime from re-exerting its influence in a wider area, retarding its operations in other areas as well.
Israel, which has adopted a policy of "wait and see" since the war broke out, was pleased with the restrictions, imposed on the regime and Iranian militias since its main concern was the expansion of Iran towards the Israeli-held territories. Therefore, its recent attack on a Syrian airbase was no surprise. Russia and the Syrian regime accused Israel with carrying out a missile attack Monday on an air base, saying Israeli fighter jets launched the missiles from Lebanon's air space. Several Lebanese social media users confirmed that Israeli jets were seen over the sky. "A war-monitoring group said the airstrikes killed 14 people, including Iranians active in Syria. Russia's Defense Ministry said two Israeli aircraft targeted the T4 air base in Homs province, firing eight missiles. It said Syria shot down five of them while the other three landed in the western part of the base. Syrian state TV quoted an unnamed military official as saying that Israeli F-15 warplanes fired several missiles at T4," an AP report said. T4 is known as an Iranian airbase.
In case the regime captures East Ghouta, Israel may consider the situation a blow to its security while the U.S. and some European Union countries, including France, will be disturbed with the idea that Russia would be free to clear the capital, therefore the route to the Mediterranean Sea, from the opposition groups.