According to Chinese intelligence analysts, Russian fighter bombers conducted intensive bombing operations over a three-month period in E. Ghouta and about “20,000 militants were killed along with members of their families” and, on March 17, 2018 “alone,” “about 200 servicemen of the US special operations were eliminated.” British military instructors are mentioned as being present with American instructors but no mention is made of British casualties.
The Chinese appear to have concluded that the attack (or supposed attack, one has to consider) on the Skripals in the U.K. had something to do with the “American and British failure” in Syria, namely, failure to strike Russian military targets from E. Ghouta beginning in May 2018.
- the poisoning of the Skripals (and their subsequent detention and being held incommunicado),
- this supposed American and British casualty toll in E. Ghouta,
- the Februay 7, 2018 U.S. attack on Russian “contractors” in the vicinity of Deir ez-Zor causing some 300 casualties, and
- Trump’s odd evidence-free decision to attack a plethora of targets in Syria
However, it’s possible to see the dim outlines of some nefarious American (but I repeat myself) plan to attack Russian forces from E. Ghouta through “our” al-Nusraqaida proxy and the Russians having none of it. (The U.S. plan also allegedly involved inserting troops in E. Ghouta.) Which tat follows what tit I cannot say at this point.
This alternative view is a bit more satisfactory than that (1) the Russians just decided to swallow 300 Russian casualties near Deir ez-Zor, (2) two Russians were poisoned in Britain for no reason whatsoever, and (3) Trump is stupid enough to bomb Syria when it’s clear that the “Assad used gas again” story line wasn’t even close to being established or, more accurately, laughed off the stage.
 "A real h-o-t war with Russia is underway right now." By Yevgeny Satanovsky, New Silk Strategies, 4/26/18. (This source refers to “a large number of American and British military advisers” as being present in E. Ghouta, as was also true in E. Aleppo. Certain British servicemen were members of the “22nd regiment of the special airborne service.” Also, Russian special operations forces allegedly “managed to block about 200 British military advisers in one of the districts of E. Ghouta” leading to diplomatic exchanges between the Russians and the British.)
 The Chinese appear to believe that there was a plan to deter the Russians from attack E. Ghouta by launching “another” “200 Tomahawk missile” strike at known locations of Russian personnel and stores. Was the “punitive” Trumpian strike one that was just looking for an excuse to happen? And was it limited in scope, apparently, because the Russians got wind of hostile U.S. intentions and Gen. Gerasimov warned of Russian intentions to strike at missile launch platforms or sites from which missiles attacking Russian forces might be launched? No denying his was a pretty pointed warning.