Trump on Syria attack: 'very soon or not so soon at all!'
- Author: Rogelio Becker Apr 14, 2018,
Apr 14, 2018, 11:18
Pentagon officials said that even if Syrian warplanes manage to elude a US -led strike campaign, the United States and its allies can still seek to so damage Syrian airfields - across the country - that it would hamper Assad's ability to use them to launch future chemical weapons attacks.
On Tuesday, Trump cancelled his first official trip to Latin America so he could focus on Syria.
French president Emmanuel Macron said Thursday that the French "have the proof" that Syria used chemical weapons in eastern Syria and will respond at a "time of our choosing".
The most prudent path is the one already announced by the president: to withdraw US forces from Syria's civil war and use the United States' unparalleled diplomatic power to pursue a viable detente in Syria.
"We're still assessing the intelligence, ourselves and our allies", Mattis said. "The conflict in Syria is predetermined, to my mind". The U.S. has about 2,000 troops deployed chiefly in the country's north, where they support Kurdish troops fighting Islamic State.
Any US strike would nearly certainly involve the navy, given the risk to aircraft from Russian and Syrian air defences.
A pair of U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles fly over northern Iraq early in the morning of September 23, 2014, after conducting airstrikes against ISIS targets Syria.
It also showed the intensity of the proxy war being fought in Syria, where the Assad regime is being propped up by Russian Federation and Iran.
One of the officials noted that Syria and Russian Federation relocated their equipment and personnel a year ago - the first and only other time Mr Trump ordered missile strikes on Syria in response to a chemical weapons attack.
The US has pledged to punish President Assad harshly for a suspected poison gas attack on the town of Douma, in the eastern Ghouta region near the Syrian capital on Saturday.
Cafarella said the United States must decide how far it wants to go in terms of hitting Iranian proxy forces near USA positions in eastern Syria, or even targeting Russian-supported facilities.
Earlier, President Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov earlier said in televised remarks that "we don't participate in Twitter diplomacy", adding that "it's important not to make any steps that could further destabilize the already fragile situation".
The U.S. also could use radar jamming and low-level aircraft to defeat the Syria defenses.
But she said the United States holds Russian Federation and Syria responsible for the incident. None have been shot down. "We're still working on this".
By avoiding hitting Russian forces in Syria, experts told Business Insider the U.S. runs a much lower risk of a conflict escalating.
To reduce the risk, US warplanes could launch so-called long-range "standoff" air-to-ground missiles, which are capable of striking Syrian targets without the pilot entering the nation's airspace.
Trump is believed to be considering standoff missile strikes against facilities related to the production and delivery of chlorine and sarin or sarin-like agents. Israel has not confirmed launching the attack, which reportedly killed 14 people, including seven Iranians.
A USA guided-missile destroyer, the Donald Cook, is in the Mediterranean, and other naval assets could be used in an attack.
NBC News reported Tuesday that Russian Federation has learned how to use Global Positioning System jammers to limit the capabilities of United States drones operating over Syria. There was also no indication that Syrian government forces had entered Douma on Thursday, the Associated Press reported.
After Trump's tweet, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights - a British-based war monitor with a network of sources on the ground - reported that pro-government forces were emptying main airports and military air bases.
The U.S., France and Britain have been in extensive consultations about launching a military strike as early as the end of this week, U.S. officials have said.
USA officials tell The Associated Press that the allies have weighed launching a military strike as early as the end of this week.
During tensions with North Korea in April of 2017, he said in an interview on "Fox & Friends" that he would not say whether he would order a strike if the rogue nation continued conducting missile tests.