Massive Military Buildup Off Syria Coast as Western Strikes Against Assad Looms
The United States has reportedly nailed down eight potential locations to strike in Syria as British Prime Minister Theresa May won the backing of Cabinet ministers for deploying British forces against the Assad regime along with Washington and Paris.
Citing an unnamed source, CNBC news network reported on Thursday that the US had selected eight possible targets belonging to the Assad regime that it will strike in response to the Assad regime’s April 7 chemical weapons attack on the town of Douma. The attack left nearly 100 people killed and injured.
The potential targets include two airfields, a research facility, and a chemical weapons facility, according to a source.
US President Donald Trump reinforced his threat of military action in a tweet on Wednesday, stating: “Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria. Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and smart!”
"We're looking very, very seriously, very closely at that whole situation, and we'll see what happens, folks," Trump said Thursday, adding that a strike could happen "fairly soon."
US and British media said the Pentagon had decided to deploy the largest naval and air fleet in the Mediterranean off the Syrian coast in preparation for a major military strike targeting the Assad regime.
The US navy destroyer USS Donald Cook has already arrived off the Syrian coast. The guided-missile destroyer is armed with around 60 Tomahawk cruise missiles, which were used a year ago after the sarin attack on Khan Sheikhoun.
The US dispatched the USS Harry S. Truman, a massive Nimitz-class aircraft carrier, to join the US fleet in the Mediterranean. It carries up to 90 airplanes and is armed with Tomahawk cruise missiles.
Several B-2 stealth bombers, which are armed with high-precision bombs and Tomahawk missiles, have reportedly left the state of Missouri to join the military campaign.
UK Prime Minister Theresa May on Thursday won the backing of Cabinet ministers for deploying British forces against the Assad regime. An emergency meeting of her War Cabinet endorsed the Prime Minister’s insistence that the tyrant’s use of chemical weapons “cannot go unchallenged”.
May has reportedly ordered the deployment of RAF jets and submarine-based cruise missiles to join US and French forces in an attack without a Commons vote. The submarines will be deployed to the eastern Mediterranean from where they can launch missiles on the positions of the Assad regime and its allied militias. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)