Military options and international armed forces for missile - air strikes against Syria 2808131

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Defence & Security News - Syria

 
 
Wednesday, August 28, 2013 11:59 AM
 
Military options and international armed forces for missile - air strikes against Syria.
The United States military has provided Barack Obama with a range of military options for launching an attack on Syria and is "ready to go" with an offensive, the US defence secretary has said.
     
The United States military has provided Barack Obama with a range of military options for launching an attack on Syria and is "ready to go" with an offensive, the US defence secretary has said.
USS Florida launches a Tomahawk cruise missile during Giant Shadow in the waters off the coast of the Bahamas. (Archive image)
     

US defence officials recently said a destroyer armed with cruise missiles – one of four warships in the region – has been stationed in the eastern Mediterranean sea. Military transporters have also been spotted at Britain's Akrotiri airbase on Cyprus, less than 100 miles from the Syrian coast.

Reports from the region suggest the US is gearing up for a swift military action, possibly as soon as Thursday, in a punitive show of force against President Bashar al-Assad. Syria has denied its forces were responsible for a chemical attack in a suburb of Damascus, which is believed to have killed hundreds.

BBC defence correspondent Caroline Wyatt said any military strikes would probably focus on command centres believed to be involved in the use of chemical weapons. She said cruise missiles could be launched from US ships in the Gulf or the Mediterranean, or Royal Navy vessels including submarine HMS Tireless.

Mr Cameron will chair a meeting of the National Security Council on Wednesday, which will include senior military chiefs and Cabinet ministers, to finalise options for any military strike.

British sources over the weekend suggested that the most likely option would involve Naval assets taking part in cruise missile attacks on strategic Assad regime targets inside Syria.

     
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Country
International forces military equipment
United States
Four destroyers - USS Gravely, USS Ramage, USS Barry and USS Mahan - are in the eastern Mediterranean, equipped with cruise missiles. Cruise missiles could also be launched from submarines. Airbases at Incirlik and Izmir in Turkey, and in Jordan, could be used to carry out strikes. Two aircraft carriers - USS Nimitz and USS Harry S Truman - are in the wider region.
United Kingdom
Cruise missiles could be launched from a British Trafalgar class submarine. HMS Tireless was reportedly sighted in Gibraltar at the weekend. The Royal Navy's response force task group - which includes helicopter carrier HMS Illustrious and frigates HMS Montrose and HMS Westminster - is in the region on a previously-scheduled deployment. RAF Akrotiri airbase in Cyprus could also be used.
France
Aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle is currently in Toulon in the western Mediterranean. Rafale and Mirage fighter aircraft can also operate from Al-Dhahra airbase in the United Arab Emirates.
 

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