Russia Grandstands, but Syria Discipline still Coming

There’s been a bit of back and forth this morning between the Russians and President Trump regarding the probable attack on Syria because of its chemical weapon attack on a rebel hospital Saturday:

The Russian ambassador to Lebanon said that Putin and the Russian chief of staff had decided on military backing for Syria against a possible US attack: “If they attack, the missiles will be intercepted and the launching sites will be hit…Every American missile fired at Syria will be dropped.” This was reported Wednesday morning on Hezbollah’s Al-Manar network.

The Russian warning did not intimidate the President:

All indications are that an allied attack is coming, the only question is when and how strong,

Some indications are that an attack will come in the next day or two, others suggest that it will happen over the weekend. On Tuesday Eurocontrol, which is the European Air Traffic Control agency has told airlines to exercise caution in the eastern Mediterranean over fears that air strikes could hit Syria in the next 72 hours.

US Defense Secretary General Mattis was to travel to California over the weekend, a trip that he canceled, but he has not canceled an engagement in New York on Friday, which raises the possibility something will be happening over the weekend.

The USS Donald Cook, a Navy destroyer, left a port in Larnaca, Cyprus on Monday. The guided-missile destroyer is armed with Tomahawk cruise missiles, which were used a year ago after an alleged sarin gas attack on Syrian civilians.

The word is when/if it happens this attack will be a much harsher attack than the 59 Tomahawk missiles used against Syria a year ago. That attack hurt Syria but not enough to make they stop. Some military experts predict that this time the entire Syrian air force will be destroyed, but that’s doubtful as many of those planes have been moved to Russian bases in Syria and we don’t want to intentionally bomb Russia. But make no mistakes last year’s strike was meant to send a message–but the message wasn’t received so a new attack will destroy major Syrian assets. For those who are calling for an intentional attack on Assad that would be illegal as U.S. law forbids an intentional assassination of another country’s leader.

Rumored participation by France, and possibly other allies such as the U.K. or even the Saudis not only would provide greater legitimacy for a large operation that will be positioned as a humanitarian mandate but would also provide the materials needed for a larger attack… 


Read the Rest of the Story at the Lid

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