The attack order came down late Friday night. The US, France and Britain launched a total of 105 missiles at three chemical weapons facilities deep inside Syria. Explosions could be seen and heard inside the Syrian capital of Damascus, with coalition firepower making a complete mockery of Syrian air defense.
The attack went down like this: While Syria scrambled to hide their military hardware within the safety of Russian bases, all eyes went to the growing US Naval build-up in the Mediterranean. One Russian admiral even threatened to fire a torpedo at the USS Donald Cook, which was parked alongside the USS Winston Churchill. Both US destroyers appeared to be holding the fort until the cavalry, or in this case, armada arrived. It was all a ruse.
As the attack order was given, US Naval ships in the Red Sea and the Gulf went into action. At the same time, B1 bombers launched from Qatar began dropping air-launched cruise missiles that are so state-of-the-art they’ve never been used before in combat. It was a masterstroke in precision modern warfare, and exactly what you’d expect from someone like Defense Secretary Mattis.
So, after nearly a week of the coalition threatening a possible strike, and an equal amount of time hearing Russia threaten “grave consequences,” we’re left with a few realities. First, nothing has really changed. This attack, although impressive, won’t stop Assad from killing his own people, and it definitely won’t scare Russia and Iran from supporting him.
Both the US and Russia came out of this looking kind of silly.
Second, both the US and Russia came out of this looking kind of silly. While we’re fighting like school children at the UN, the hard reality is that neither of us really has either the motivation or the balls to go “all in” when it comes to Syria. For several days after the April 7th chemical attack, the West went all Wyatt Earp in the movie Tombstone... “I’M COMING... AND HELL’S COMING WITH ME!” And then Russia barked back as if they were Curly Bill.
At the end of the day, our attack was VERY minimal and borderline symbolic, and --- for Russia --- they got their bluff called and got punked in front of the entire world. But both countries just aren’t willing to go to the mattresses over Syria. Russia has threatened a response, but you can pretty much take it to the bank that the “response” will come in the form of a cyber attack. When and where it happens is anyone’s guess, but THAT is Russia’s main strike weapon.
Meanwhile, the REAL war in the Middle East continues to build. Iran’s biggest goal in being in Syria is to encircle Israel. The longer Assad stays in power, the larger the Iranian presence will grow on Israel’s border. The Israelis will be forced to strike. Russia and the US don’t have much of a dog in the Syria fight, but for Israel and Iran, Syria is EVERYTHING. It is THIS fight that everyone should be looking at.
The coming Iranian-Israeli conflict could affect the entire world. Pray for Israel, and pray that our leaders make the right decisions.