Is the Trump Administration Hesitating from the Mad March to a Wider War?
As of a few hours ago, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the President had not made a final decision on whether to order military action, even as she insisted the Administration blames the Syrian and Russian governments for the Douma chemical attack. This appeared to contradict the 'missiles are coming' tweets the Commander in Chief or someone using his Twitter account sent out Wednesday morning. Either Trump is playing 4-D chess with himself, or there is a real battle going on inside his Administration for control of Syria policy.
The President's previous instincts to pull U.S. forces out of the country would seem genuine, but have been trumped by his advisers and the deep state, which has far too much invested in Syria to 'hand' it to Assad and by extension, Russia and Iran. Or so goes the arguments made nearly unanimously across the legacy media in The Washington Post, New York Times, CNN, NBC, MSNBC, CBS, and the President's favorite network, Fox News (the notable exception being the Tucker Carlson clip posted above). The fact that the chemical attack in Douma came right on schedule after weeks of the Russians warning about precisely that type of false flag to justify forceful U.S. intervention against Assad is surely known to Trump.
The following is a summary of the 'orders of battle' and tweeted reports/rumors about pending military actions, even as it appears last minute negotiations are underway between Putin and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Bibi is publically demanding Moscow make Iranian forces leave Syria. That of course isn't going to happen, and the Israelis know it, since the Iranians and their Shi'a militia allies from Iraq and Afghanistan have provided invaluable manpower and ideological support for the Syrian military. A senior adviser to Iran's Supreme Leader, Ali Akbar Velayati, vowed Tehran would retaliate for the Israeli standoff missile strike that killed several IRGC personnel last week.
It should be noted that while the mainstream media's focus has been on Moscow's promises to retaliate if Russian personnel are killed or injured in U.S. strikes, Iran fired a ballistic missile at an ISIS target in Syria last year. Even if it doesn't hit U.S. bases in the region with missiles, Tehran is more than capable of targeting American forces inside Syria using its proxy Hezbollah. That is the multi-front regional war scenario which Team Rogue Money's mentor 'W the Intelligence Insider' has been warning of for many months.
Summary of Military Moves and the Orders of Battle:
U.S.-Russia Militaries Maintaining Contact Through Deconfliction Line
TASS is reporting within the past 24 hours that the U.S. and Russian militaries are maintaining contact through the deconfliction line. The line is set up at the Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar, whose emir, Sheik Tamim bin Hamad al Thani, has sought better relations with Moscow in recent months -- particularly as Qatar's ties with neighboring Saudi Arabia became severely strained. The LA Times reports the Pentagon is likely to give the Russians warning regarding some specific targets in order to let Russian personnel vacate the areas before they are hit, something that happened prior to 59 Tomahawks being fired at the Shayrat air base over a year ago. Moscow based analyst Maxim Suchkov confirms that such communications are taking place as Pentagon planners seek to avoid Russian casualties.
US and Royal Navy in Position to Strike with Tomahawks, Carrier Group Steaming to Med
On Monday, the Pentagon dismissed as false CNN Turkish reports of Russian aircraft buzzing the USS Donald Cook. RogueMoney readers will recall that the Cook is the same Arleigh Burke-class AEGIS equipped destroyer said to have been temporarily disabled by hitherto unknown Russian electronic warfare methods in the Black Sea, back in April 2014. The question of how many Tomahawks actually reached their target around Al-Shayrat air base in April 2017 when Russia used Krasukha 4 electronic jammers around the coast line is highly pertinent to how many missiles Moscow's forces may be able to take down this time. According to Southfront -- which has been subject with other pro-Russian sites such as Ft. Russ to denial of service attacks in recent days -- the main US Navy force is not arriving in the Med for another week to ten days:
The US Navy is creating a strike group with hundreds of Tomahawk cruise missiles for a possible attack on Syria.
The USS Donald Cook has already drawn attention to its actions in the eastern Mediterranean where it has reportedly been “harassed” by Russian warplanes.
The USS Carney is also deployed somewhere in Mediterranean, while the USS Porter is somewhere en route to or has already entered it. Another guided-missile destroyer, the USS Laboon is also somewhere near the Mediterranean. These four guided-missile destroyers together can carry up to 240 Tomahawk cruise missiles.
Considering that the USS Georgia and USS John Warner nuclear submarines are also deployed in the region, the US Navy could have about 406 Tomahawks to use for its attack on the Assad government.
On April 11, the USS Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group is set to depart Naval Station Norfolk for deployment in the Middle East and Europe. The strike group includes the guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy and the guided-missile destroyers USS Arleigh Burke, USS Bulkeley, USS Forrest Sherman and USS Farragut. The destroyers USS Jason Dunham and USS The Sullivans will join the strike group later.
If the attack on Syria does not take place in the coming days, the USS Harry S. Truman will further strengthen the US offensive capabilities for a possible large-scale invasion against the Assad government, and thus Russian and Iranian forces deployed in Syria.
Turkish Media: U.S. to Use Turkey, Jordan, Iraq Air Space for Strikes
Southfront picked up rumors reported in Turkish media that do not seem very accurate, namely the part about Turkey -- which has been sliding away from NATO toward Russia lately -- and the Iranian-friendly government in Baghdad opening up Turkish and Iraqi air space to strikes against the Syrian government. The Russian Analyst seriously doubts that either country would permit direct strikes from their territory on Assad government targets, particularly at a time when Turkey has been cooperating with Moscow and Tehran in the Astana peace talks to settle the Syrian conflict:
- The US has designated 22 top targets, including near the Russian naval facility in Tartus, to strike in Syria, according to a report by Turkish media outlet Yeni Safak, citing International Relations scholar Zakariye Molahafci. According to this version, military bases in Homs, Damascus, Tartus, Hama, Hasakah, Deir Ezzor and Raqqa are aming the targets.
- According to the New York Times, Washington is concerned that an attack of the same scale as the 2017 strike on Shayrat military airfield would prove ineffective at halting “the Assad regime”. So, officials suggest to expand the scale of “response” to the alleged chemical attack, hitting few targets and extending the military effort to several days.
- According to some Syrian local media outlets (in Arabic), Turkey, Jordan and Iraq have alredy allowed the US-led coalition to use their aispace for strikes on Syria. So, the US-led coalition will be able to use its forces deployed not only in the Mediterranean region but also in the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea.
- Israel’s Channel 10 reported citing a senior government official that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had estimated that it was “very likely” the US would launch an attack on Syria during a security meeting on April 9.
- According to some “experts”, Russia has requested Iran to allow its strategic bombers and fighters at Hamedan airbase or some other miltiary airfield, located relatively close to the Syrian battleground. [This remains unconfirmed and no photographs or video have emerged of Russian bombers landing at Hamedan like the last time they briefly refueled there during strikes against ISIS targets in Syria -- JWS]
- According to media reports, Syrian forces have been put on “combat alert” over the possible US attack on the country. [This is highly likely] On the same time some sources speculate that Syrian troops remove Syrian flags from their facilities and HQ across the country, for example in al-Bukamal, and put Russian flags. [This is not likely -- Southfront]
Summing up the rumors and speculations, it’s clear that most of the media outlets have little reliable info about the current situation over Syria. So, they use various unreliable rumors anonymous sources as a tool to exploit the current crisis to expand their viewership.
Russia Announces Live Firing Exercises Off Syrian Coast as Commercial Aviation Warned
Russia has scheduled a missile-firing exercise in the eastern Mediterranean as US President Donald Trump has threatened Syia and Russian forces deployed in the country with “smart” missiles.
The Russian military exercises, including missile-firing, will be held from April 11 to April 26 around Nicosia in the eastern Mediterranean.
A similar warning was earlier issued by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which had recommended all aircraft to supervise over their flights in the eastern Mediterranean region within the next 72 hours. The warning appeared due to possible airstrikes on Syria involving cruise missiles or air-to-surface missiles.
Meanwhile, the US Navy P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol plane, known as a “submarine killer”, was observed by the flying to south of Cyprus, having likely departed from Naval Air Station Sigonella in Italy, and headed eastward toward Syria.
Russia Buzzing French Warship as France Said to Move Jets to Cyprus
Unlike the reports of Russian warplanes again buzzing the USS Donald Cook as in the past during encounters in the Black Sea, the reporting on low level fly bys near a French warship seems legit --though again no visual evidence has emerged from either the French or Russian side of such close encounters in the eastern Med.
Russians Surging Black Sea Fleet into Med, Announcing Exercises for Likely Strike Dates
Russians Relocating Helicopters and Personnel to Kheimmim Away from Interior Bases, Syrian Government Jets Also On the Move
Syrian Troops Ordered to Empty Barracks -- Damascus Correspondent Elijah J. Magnier
Russian State Media: 40 Pantsir Point Defense Gun and SAM Systems (Of the Type That Can Defend Bases from Some Incoming Missiles or Low Flying Aircraft) Sold to Syria
Turks Urge Washington and Moscow to Ease Tensions Over Syria
Israelis Reportedly Threaten to Kill Assad If Damascus Allows Iranian/Hezbollah Missile Strikes to Be Launched from Syrian Territory Against Israel
Another Yemeni Missile Hits Saudi Capitol Riyadh, As Media Speculate the Royal Saudi Air Force Could Join in Air Strikes Against Syria -- RSAF Still Has Hands Full With the Yemeni Resistance