Less than 24 hours ago I was saying that we should probably get ready for some sort of retaliatory strike against Syria following their latest alleged chemical weapons attack. Last night some missiles did apparently strike that country in the vicinity of the city of Homs, killing at least 14 people. One revealing nugget of information coming out in the hours immediately following the strike is that the dead were probably all Iranians or members of groups supporting Iran in Syria. (Fox News)
Airstrikes on Monday reportedly killed 14 people, including Iranians, at a military airport near the city of Homs shortly after a suspected chemical attack that killed at least 40 people in a suburb of the capital city, Damascus, over the weekend.
Rami Abdurrahman, who heads the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, says most of the 14 killed were either Iranians or members of Iran-backed groups
It was not immediately clear which country launched the strikes. The report on SANA said the attack on the T4 military airbase “is likely to be an American aggression.”
That brings us to the $64,000 question: who launched the attack? The Syrians are blaming us, and to be fair, it wasn’t an implausible claim in the moments following the missile strikes. But the White House is saying we didn’t do it. And based on the description of the damage and casualties, it doesn’t really look like an American attack. If this was Trump launching his “immediate action” in response to Assad’s chemical weapons attack, I’d expect that we’d see a rain of cruise missiles hitting a site suspected of chemical weapons storage and some stealth bombers dropping massive bunker-busters. This was some sort of direct, air-to-surface conventional missile attack from the sounds of it.
So if it wasn’t us, who was it? Some are blaming Israel and it’s not really a crazy suggestion. (More from Fox)
Al-Manar TV station of Lebanon’s Iran-backed Hezbollah group, which is fighting in Syria alongside the government forces, described the attack as an “Israeli aggression.”
The Observatory says it wasn’t immediately clear who was behind the attack…
Rami Abdurrahman, who heads the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, says most of the 14 killed were either Iranians or members of Iran-backed groups.
Why isn’t it unreasonable to think it might have been the Israelis? The Homs airbase was the same airfield that Israeli warplanes struck back in February. That attack was prompted by an Iranian drone crossing over into Israeli airspace. It’s a target that’s obviously within easy reach for Israel and there’s no love lost between them and Assad.
But if it was an Israeli attack, completely justified though it may be, we’re left with the questions of why now and how did the plan for this unfold so quickly? Was it in retaliation for the chemical weapons attack or was this perhaps something that Israel had already been planning anyway because of the friction with Iran. (Remember, as noted above, the attack took out Iranian forces, not the Syrians.) Still, Bibi Netanyahu must have realized that any attack last night would toss gasoline on the fire surrounding the recent chemical attacks.
But whether it was pre-planned or a rapid response, would Isreal strike without consulting Trump first? That sounds unlikely in the extreme. We’re their number one military partner and defender. Keep in mind that all the White House has said thus far is that it wasn’t an American attack. That doesn’t mean that we didn’t know about it. But if that’s the case and Israel was responsible, somebody is going to have to fess up pretty quickly and it will become obvious that we were in the loop. Why not just announce it straight away and take credit for hitting the tyrant?
Having Russia, Turkey and Iran involved in the mix makes all of this horribly complicated. At this point, the only way to blunt any fallout from last night’s attack would probably be to launch one of our own. Buckle up, kids. This is turning into an epic crapstorm at a rapid pace.