“The Russian Defense Ministry stated earlier that the US-led coalition was "building up a group of cruise missile carriers in the Middle East region," in preparation for a possible strike, while French President Emmanuel Macron declared that France was also ready to launch new strikes against Syria in case of a chemical weapons attack there.
The US military is laying the groundwork to close the airspace over northern Syria, according to the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet. US military freighters are reported to have transported radar systems to the city of Kobanî, controlled by the Kurdish militia, and the US military base in Al-Shaddadah in southern al-Hasakah.
The outlet claims that the US plans to use these complexes to establish a no-fly zone over the territory between Manbij in Aleppo and Deir ez-Zor.
Washington hasn’t commented on the report yet.” (SPUTNIK)
This has the potential of being a deadly and costly conflict or a military embarrassment. The Russian and US Navies are putting a lot of warships in a shallow and confined eastern Mediterranean all within the reach of each other’s land-based air assets. I doubt either side intends to target the other’s ships, but in an environment of intense missile interdiction efforts and radio electronic combat, things can get out of hand very quickly. That would be a deadly and costly conflict… for both sides.
If a naval conflict is avoided, the possibility of another largely ineffective cruise missile strike at the hands of the combined Syrian and Russian air defense complex is a real possibility. Remember, it was the Syrian air defense alone that successfully defended against past strikes. Russia has reinforced its systems in country and no doubt reinforced the Syrian air defense system as well. But even an ineffective strike could lead to Russian deaths. That could easily lead to an escalation and, again, a deadly and costly conflict… for both sides.
As I stated in a comment earlier today, “All Trump has to do is say no rather than respond militarily to any provocation coming out of Idlib. Call Mattis and Haspel into the Oval Office and say no. Tweet whatever you want, but say no.” Will he fall for another fake gas attack? I haven’t seen any media discussions of the possibility of any impending gas attack being a false flag provocation. That's bad, but Trump can write all that off as fake news. What is Trump’s Fox News cabinet discussing? I have no cable so I have no idea. Are they warning of a possible false flag attack or are they talking up the dangers of a Syrian barrel bomb gas attack on the hapless citizens of Idlib? The later would definitely be bad news for us all. What Fox is saying is critical at this point.
Even if the jihadis execute a gas attack provocation, the DoD cannot execute a strike without Presidential authorization or a Congressional declaration of war, which won’t happen… ever. Trump had no problem climbing down from his bellicose rants against the North Korean nuclear threat. Perhaps he knows what’s at stake and can resist the waving of the bloody shirt by the media and even his own administration over a jihadi gas attack. It is in his hands. Just say no, Mr. President.