U.S. Strike Syria: What to Expect in Coming Hours

    August 29, 2013
    Bennett Rieser
    Comments are off for this post.

With official confirmation coming from Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel on the United States’ readiness to strike, at the time of posting, it’s surely a mere matter of hours before the United States launches missiles in retaliation for chemical weapons usage by the Assad regime in Syria.

Regardless of whether an attack takes place, this article will attempt to focus the media frenzy surrounding the possibility of a U.S. strike against Syria from a variety of sources, and assure readers that it is unlikely that World War III will start in the next day.

As of this posting, President Obama is continually refusing the suggestion that he has already authorized an attack, although he has concluded along with Vice President Biden that “[Syria] in fact carried these [chemical weapon attacks] out. And if that’s so, there needs to be international consequences… We do not believe given the delivery system using rockets, that the opposition could have carried out these attacks.” Obama has also been working closely with the UK’s prime minister, David Cameron, in coordinating the response along with the French and German governments.

An LA Times article from last evening involved discussions with both current and former U.S. officials, who confirm that a U.S. attack on Syria would take place at night and involve fiery explosions at military bases, targeted artillery pieces, and a variety of regime strongholds. Assad’s defenses would likely involve a bunch of flak anti-air guns trying to shoot down the Tomahawk missiles. Analysts speaking with the Times said that if President Obama wants more targets destroyed, the Pentagon may use warplanes in concert with the guided cruise missiles.

Because of Syria’s recent chemical weapons activity, Obama has indicated that the halting of chemical weapon proliferation would be a priority for a strike. That does not mean that they will drop cruise missiles on chemical weapons sites; planners are far too worried that such tactics would unleash truckloads of toxins.

Strike planners don’t intend to destroy Assad’s conventional war forces, instead choosing to target Assad’s most loyal units that assisted in the carrying out of the August 21 chemical attack: “They want to send a signal that those units are being targeted as much as possible because of their specific involvement” in the deployment of chemical weapons, one official told the LA Times.

Syria attempted to step up its own rhetoric when a senior official said earlier this week that any international attack would be met by Syrian defenses, and that such an attack would create a “chaos” that could threaten global stability.

Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mikdad, speaking to the AP, said on Monday that “there will be no international military intervention… If individual countries want to pursue aggressive and adventurous policies, the natural answer … would be that Syria, which has been fighting against terrorism for almost three years, will also defend itself against any international attack.”

Mikdad went on to say that each country will bear responsibility for the thousands of innocents who will die because of the “criminal actions against a sovereign country…Syria will not be an easy target.” Mikdad refused to go into detail about what Syria’s actual tactics might be, giving as much credibility to his country’s chest-thumping as the Syrian Presidency’s Instagram account gives to the regime.

Some news outlets have speculated about a variety of Islamist groups’ response to a U.S. assault on Syria. However, since the Iranian scientists were killed, Iran’s ability to orchestrate terror attacks has all but faded away, and Michael Leiter, the director of the National Counterterrorism Center between 2007 and 2011, was quoted by the Daily Beast as saying “it is more likely Iranian and Lebanese Hezbollah operatives would target U.S., Israeli, and Western assets in Lebanon, Iraq, and elsewhere in the region.” Take a deep breath, reader: extremist attacks on U.S. soil itself or on U.S. forces in the Mediterranean in retaliation for the bombing of Syria would be highly unlikely.

If you want to read possible repercussions, an ABC News story via Yahoo has five interesting hypotheticals, but they are just hypotheticals.

[Image via a Youtube video of the USS Stout launching a cruise missile]
  • http://yahoo EVE

    it will happen.:(.has already been written,i feel this is the start of the last world war.

    • Reality

      I half agree with you. I don’t think this will lead to World War though. Anything is possible though — as we have seen in the past 12 years.

  • http://yahoo dallas

    It seems impossible to me, to sort out the who and what and any Evidence involved here. Who ARE these Rebels, exactly? What PROOF do we have that implicates the Assad Regime in these Chemical Attacks? How can we be sure that someone else wasn’t motivated to carry these Attacks out for their own Reasons? What will Syria supporting Countries do about it if we strike? What are the possible Consequences to this seemingly Knee Jerk Response? WHY, if a Regime change ISN’T the Goal, would we launch even ONE Missile into that Mess?? If a Regime change isn’t our Goal,What IS the Goal then, exactly.. and why? I have a LOT of questions from every Angle here and NO answers. I don’t want to see something get started THIS way.. We need all of this clarified completely BEFORE we get in too deep to get back OUT again.

    • Hmm

      There are no goals Dallas. Don’t you understand…. a war on terror has no goals and no end. The US has not had any real goals at all in the past 12 years. The one “goal” we had was to get Bin Laden but we saw how important that was. It was so important that we didn’t even show his body and dumped him in the ocean. A man who had intimate, in-depth knowledge of every aspect of the very terror network we are fighting all over the world — we kill and dump in the sea.

      I totally agree with your premise. It is logical and sound. But the reality is that the only goals are the ones the people behind the scenes have. The ones that are gaining money and power from all this chaos.

  • Reality

    If we go into Syria, what will change? After all the things we have done since 9/11, what has actually changed? Nothing has changed in the rest of the world, but everything in the US. The only thing that has changed is us.

    We gave up everything because fear. All this NSA stuff is just the BEGINNING of what is to come. People are so naive as to what technology will be put on the market in the next 5 to 10 years. Utterly naive.

    Right now we are transforming into a Police State simply out of fear of supposed mass terrorist threats. A threat that really has always been with us and one that will always be with us. It was with us since the 1940s and we never needed all this NSA and Patriot Act measures before. Terrorism is just the realities of life. There simply will always be fringe lunatics. But you don’t change everything you are because of them!!!

    Do you realize right now we have 5% of the world’s population and 25% of the world’s prisoners???? We incarcerate more than the Soviets did under the Gulag System. These numbers do not include those people on parole and probation. This will be getting much worse.

    We are transforming into a fully functional police state. When that completes, one will only have to look at the past 10 years to see when it started.

  • Hmm

    You do realize that the only people that will be hurt by this is us and a bunch of innocent people in Syria. In the end, we will bomb them. Most of the people who actually ordered the use of chemical weapons will be long gone from the target sites (after all the media already reported what sites were off limits from bombing runs). Then we will hear about all the possible terror attacks that will supposedly come in retaliation. That will justify all the Patriot Act measures and the NSA spying. Those things will stay in place. Nothing will ultimately change and in fact, more of our rights will be taken away from us.

    Come on America that handwriting is on the wall. You have to be so naive to realize that everything we are doing is not about world peace. It is about us.

    Closing the borders keeps people in as well as out. Cameras on every street corner. Facial recognition software being employed in those cameras. Our out of control incarceration rate (we have 25% of the worlds prisoners). RFID chips being mass developed. Patriot Acts. NSA spying program. The list goes on and on. I would list everything but they would never post my comment because the list is so large.

    This ultimately is all about us. So we bomb Syria? Really is that going to change anything?