Thursday 29 August 2013

US troops mobilised?

US troops mobilized along Jordan-Syria border
Troops backed by warplanes and fighter jets have been mobilized along the Jordan-Syria border, a report says

28 August, 2013

According to the Lebanese news portal Naharnet, Sky News Arabia quoted a high-ranking official as saying on Wednesday that special military forces were positioned on the border.

"Warplanes and modern anti-missile systems have arrived on the Jordanian border as part of the support offered by the Saudi brothers, in addition to US fighter jets and drones," the source said, adding that the forces were ready to enter “some sensitive sites” to secure what the report described as chemical weapons stockpiles.

These forces have been trained in terrains that are similar to Syria's geography to guarantee that they would reach their targets with the minimum losses possible.”

The high-ranking source also stated that a “buffer zone will be created in southern Syria to accommodate the new numbers of Syrian refugees, and Western and Arab fighter jets have been put on alert at the Jordanian-Syrian border as a precaution against any retaliation by the Syrian regime against Jordanian territory."

The call for military action against Syria intensified after foreign-backed opposition forces accused the government of President Bashar al-Assad of launching a chemical attack on militant strongholds in the suburbs of Damascus on August 21.

Meanwhile, Syrian Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi said the West is seeking to turn Syria into a second Iraq and that the issue of chemical weapons use is only a pretext for war.

Syria has been gripped by deadly unrest since 2011. According to reports, the Western powers and their regional allies -- especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey -- are supporting the militants operating inside Syria.

According to the United Nations, more than 100,000 people have been killed and a total of 7.8 million of others displaced due to the violence. 

War Games: The Syrian Military Theater Of Operations In Two Charts

28 August, 2013

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says that US forces are "ready to go" if the administration decides to strike against alleged Syrian chemical weapon use. As Bloomberg notes in the infographic below, US Navy guided missile destroyers in the Mediterranean Sea are within range of Syrian targets.. and the ships have a combined inventory of more than 200 cruise missiles. On the other side, theSyrian Air Defense system is very robust, and as Stratfor notes, with an estimated 54,000 personnel, Syria's air defense network is twice the size of former Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's air force. 

Here is the Syrian theater of operations...

The US Assets In Place (via Bloomberg)

And Syria's Air Defense Network (via Stratfor)

As the United States weighs a military response to the Syrian regime's reported use of chemical weapons, one of the largest concerns will involve countering Syria's robust air defense network. With an estimated 54,000 personnel, Syria's air defense network is twice the size of former Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's air force and air defense command combined at the start of the NATO campaign in 2011. Syria's Air Defense Command consists of the 24th and 26th anti-aircraft divisions, which comprise thousands of anti-aircraft guns and more than 130 
surface-to-air missile (SAM) batteries.

The bulk of Syria's SAM weaponry is composed of the SA-2, SA-3, SA-5, SA-6 and SA-8 SAM systems, which were also operated by Gadhafi's forces. However, the Syrians operate these systems in far greater numbers, have devoted significant resources to maintaining and upgrading these missile batteries and have also successfully deployed their SAM systems in a dense and overlapping layout that would complicate operations to suppress enemy air defenses.

Though also a Russian ally, Gadhafi did not have the more advanced Russian air defense systems that the al Assad regime possesses. For example, Iran reportedly financed Syria's acquisition of 50 SA-22 systems first delivered in 2007 -- 10 of which allegedly ended up in Iranian hands. The Syrians are also thought to operate several SA-11 systems, which the Libyans did not have. Syria's defenses against an air campaign are not restricted to the ground. Its air force can contribute dozens of fighter aircraft and interceptors, which any intervention force would also have to contend with.

Charts: Bloomberg and Stratfor

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.