Politics

U.S. Missile Attacks On Syria May Be Imminent

| by Sylvan Lane
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President Obama said that if Syrian President Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons against rebels, it would cross a “red line,” leading to United States military intervention. Now, it seems that the red line has been crossed, and apparently the president is contemplating a brief air strike against key Syrian military targets, per The Washington Post.

According to The Post:

The timing of such an attack, which would probably last no more than two days and involve sea-launched cruise missiles — or, possibly, long-range bombers — striking military targets not directly related to Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal, would be dependent on three factors: completion of an intelligence report assessing Syrian government culpability in last week’s alleged chemical attack; ongoing consultation with allies and Congress; and determination of a justification under international law.

Last Wednesday, several rebel-controlled Damascus suburbs were allegedly attacked with lethal and debilitating toxic gases. Hospitals were soon overwhelmed with patients—both deceased and injured—and undersupplied with the necessary antidotes. The full death toll from the attacks is unknown, due to the widespread panic that ensued after the attacks, according to The New York Times.

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In a press conference Monday, Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters in a read statement, “What we saw in Syria last week should shock the conscience of the world. It defies any code of morality. Let me be clear: The indiscriminate slaughter of civilians, the killing of women and children and innocent bystanders by chemical weapons is a moral obscenity. By any standard, it is inexcusable and — despite the excuses and equivocations that some have manufactured — it is undeniable.”

NBC News reported Tuesday airstrikes might begin as soon as Thursday, which would be targeted toward major Syrian military installments, not the sight of the attacks. The attacks would also be intended to send a message to the al-Assad’s regime, not topple it.

“American missile strikes would almost certainly be launched from Navy destroyers or submarines in the Mediterranean Sea. The United States has moved destroyers closer to Syria, which sits on the sea’s eastern edge, in recent days, but that was mostly a symbolic move. U.S. Tomahawk missiles are so precise they can hit not just buildings but specific windows, and could hit Syrian targets from far further west in the Mediterranean,” said the report.

Sources: The Washington Post (1, 2), The New York Times, NBC News