US President Donald Trump's National Security Adviser John Bolton fired warning shots at Damascus on Wednesday, saying that the US would respond "very strongly" if Syrian President Bashar al-Assad uses chemical weapons in an offensive to retake the Idlib province.
Speaking at a news conference in Jerusalem, Bolton revealed that US officials have been informed of plans in which the Syrian government was considering to "resume offensive military activities."
"We are obviously concerned about the possibility that Assad may use chemical weapons again," Bolton said. "Just so there's no confusion here: if the Syrian regime uses chemical weapons, we will respond very strongly, and they really ought to think about this a long time."
Rick Sterling, an investigative journalist and member of the Syria Solidarity Movement, told Radio Sputnik's Loud & Clear on Wednesday that the 69-year-old Baltimore native's statement was "just another violation of international law."
"It's a threat that the US will use force," Sterling told hosts Brian Becker and John Kiriakou. "It's another unauthorized assertion that the US is the judge, jury and executioner of the violations of the chemical weapons treaty."
"The US has no authority to do that," he stressed.
What law? It's international law only if the United States says it's law.
But with regard to Bolton's statements, it's possible that President Trump instructed him to say what he did -- but say it before an open microphone? Both Trump and Bolton would have to know that Bolton's public announcement would be read as a clear invitation to terrorists in Idlib to stage a false-flag chemical attack. This is beyond the pale.
I note that no such announcement was made prior to the Syrian army's recent "Southern Offensive." The announcement seems intended to slow or even derail the SAA's advance on terrorists' positions in Idlib. The U.S., U.K. and France have longstanding interests there -- and have been overtly aiding al Qaeda in the province.
But to protect their interests, the Trump regime encourages terrorists to carry out a chemical attack in Idlib? Or does Trump know what his national security advisor is doing?
As to Bolton's insinuation that the Trump regime has just learned about the SAA's planned offensive in Idlib, perhaps it was just the way he worded it. But it's been known for weeks on the internet and all over the Middle East that the assault is imminent. Satellite photographs would have showed the long columns of military convoys headed toward Idlib.