Tags: Donald Trump | Middle East | Russia | Syria | James Mattis | secretary | defense

Report: Mattis to Propose Airstrike on Syrian Airfields

Image: Report: Mattis to Propose Airstrike on Syrian Airfields
Defense Secretary James Mattis (AP Photo)

By    |   Thursday, 06 Apr 2017 08:46 PM

Defense Secretary James Mattis will present President Donald Trump with plans prepared by U.S. Central Command for a "saturation strike" on Syrian military targets, The Intercept reported.

The airstrike proposal comes in response to the horrific deadly chemical attack that is suspected to have been carried out by Syrian government forces – and according to two unnamed military officials, were to be outlined Trump at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, The Intercept reported.

According to the outlet, the "saturation strike" would use dozens of cruise missiles designed to hit Syrian military targets — including military air fields — to limit future Syrian Air Force attacks on rebel positions.

The strike would involve launching Tomahawk cruise missiles to overwhelm Russian air defense systems used by the Syrian military, The Intercept reported, noting the Russian government helps maintain the air defense sites and advises the Syrian military.

The risk is the strike would likely result in the deaths of Russian personnel, according to the unnamed officials – as well as mark a drastic escalation of U.S. force in civil war-torn Syria, The Intercept reported.

That risk of Russian casualties — plus the location of Syrian air defenses in densely populated areas — were major reasons why the Obama administration never went forward with such a plan, The Intercept noted.

Trump on Wednesday charged the Syrian government "crossed many, many lines" by apparently conducting the chemical weapons attack that killed as many as 100 Syrians.

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Defense Secretary James Mattis will present President Donald Trump with plans prepared by U.S. Central Command for a "saturation strike" on Syrian military targets, The Intercept reported.
James Mattis, secretary, defense, airstrike
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2017-46-06
Thursday, 06 Apr 2017 08:46 PM
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