President Donald Trump has reportedly nailed down eight locations to strike in Syria, including two airbases, a research facility, and a chemical weapons facility.
It’s possible the locations lie far from Russian forces, and therefore carry a low risk of escalating tensions with Russia, but Trump’s White House has said it’s not afraid to target Russian assets.
Any strike on Syria, Russia’s ally, runs the risk triggering a massive Russian response that could lead to war between the world’s biggest nuclear powers.
President Donald Trump has been cryptically hinting at his looming action on Syria for days, but a new report says he may have nailed down eight locations to strike.
An anonymous source told CNBC that Trump’s White House had selected eight targets in Syria including two airfields, a research facility, and a chemical weapons facility.
Such a strike would amount to a punitive action against Syria for what the US and its allies consider blatant use of chemical weapons against civilian populations within the country, but they still carry the risk of sparking war with Russia.
Ryan Bohl, a Middle East analyst at Stratfor, a geopolitical consulting firm, told Business Insider that Syria’s chemical weapons facilities lie under the umbrella of Russia’s air defenses, but not actually close enough that a strike on the facilities would endanger Russian troops. Russia has threatened to use its air defenses against US missile strikes.
Russian officials have also threatened to counter-attack the US if missiles fly over Syria, potentially by attacking US Navy ships or submarines.
Dimitry Gorenburg, a senior research scientist at Harvard’s Davis Center for Russia and Eurasian studies, told Business Insider that Russia had flown in aircraft that specialize in anti-submarine warfare to Syria. Russia has moved its warships out of a naval base in Syria after Trump announced that the strikes were coming in a move they chalked up to self defense.
Russia operates out of airfields in Syria, but it’s unclear if the US will target those bases. Syria has moved most of its jets to bases with Russian protection in fear of the coming strike.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said on Wednesday that the US wasn’t afraid to target Russian assets in its strike on Syria, but a report from a Russian website says the US has been coordinating with Russia to avoid hitting its troops, and will provide a list of targets before a strike to avoid escalating warfare between the world’s two greatest nuclear powers.
Russia’s UN Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia urged the US on Thursday to avoid military action, saying the “immediate priority is to avert the danger of war.”
Asked if he was referring to war between the US and Russia, Nebenzia said, “We cannot exclude any possibilities unfortunately because we saw messages that are coming from Washington. They were very bellicose.”
“They know we are there, I wish there was dialect though the proper channels on this to avert any dangerous developments,” he said. “The …read more
Source:: Business Insider