U.S. military commanders are preparing contingency plans for a potential retaliatory strike from the Syrian military as government officials suggest that an attack on Syria could bring upon counter-strikes in the form of missiles, terrorist attacks and cyber warfare.
Daily Mail reports that these officials, however, have expressed confidence that the U.S. and allies, including Britain, France and Israel, could deter or neutralize an immediate response to the long-range missile strikes set to be launched at the Syrian military any day now.
One European defense official told Daily Mail that the primary purpose of building up large naval forces near Syria was to prevent a counter-strike consisting of missiles or war planes.
“The important thing is to have enough force to control the escalatory response,” said the official.
“But even so, there is no military action without risk, and a punitive strike on Syrian regime forces would carry some. Weapons could hit unintended targets, perhaps killing civilians,” Jeffrey White of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy wrote this week.
Syria and Iran are both believed to have a massive amount of short-range rockets that could hit nearby U.S. allies Israel, Turkey and Jordan.
Another Syrian ally is Shi’ite militant group Hezbollah, which has tens of thousands of these rockets just waiting to be fired from southern Lebanon, near Israel’s border.
According to Daily Mail, many experts believe Syria and its allies will avoid direct conflict with the U.S. and instead opt for an “asymmetric response,” such as terror or cyber attacks.
Another U.S. official said that Washington has also expressed concern over the possibility of Iran retaliating by transferring its surviving militias to Iraq and carrying out the bloody religious battles over there.
Iraq is already on the verge of a huge civil war between two Muslim sects that could potentially escalate into just as much madness as we saw in Syria if the Islamic militants currently fighting in Syria turn the Iraqi skirmishes into a full-on tribal war.
Syria’s response to a Western attack will be key to the future of the entire world, though many honestly believe Syria will simply absorb any strikes as long as they aren’t destructive enough to oust their leader from power.
“I think the calculation will be, ‘Let’s just hunker down, take what we think will be a limited series of strikes and then just live to fight another day,’ ” Shawn Brimley of the Center for a New American Security told Daily Mail.
“I’d be surprised if Assad tried to respond because that would just further draw the United States into an engagement,” said Brimley, who recently served on Obama’s National Security Council staff.
“He probably has the calculation that if the United States becomes decisively engaged that he’s unlikely to survive.”
Iranian military chief of staff Hassan Firouzabadi was quoted by an Iranian news agency on Wednesday as saying that “any attack on Syria would burn down Israel.”
Yet Iran is unlikely to attack Israel directly because Israel, with our help, would ruthlessly destroy Iran in a matter of days.
This is why many predict Iran will instead turn to Hezbollah to carry out the retaliation because this militia is mostly made up of crazy extremists who have waited for an excuse to attack Israel for years.
This way, Iran will be able to say that it at least made a valuable effort to seek revenge for the Syrian strike and won’t be held accountable for what happens afterwards since Hezbollah, although backed by Iran, is based in Lebanon.
“A Hezbollah attack on Israel is likely, and in fact some are speculating about yet another Hezbollah-Israeli war in Lebanon,” said Hayat Alvi, a lecturer in Middle East studies at the U.S. Naval War College.
“Iran and Syria can target coalition cyber-based infrastructure and other potential targets,” Alvi added. “They prove to be quite capable in that domain.”
Via: Daily Mail, Top Photo Credit: WENN