US Destroyers Move in on Syria

With the Syria situation facing deadlock in the United Nations, and the United States ramping up the rhetoric that Syrian President Bashir Assad has crossed the red line with his chemical attacks, President Barack Obama has chosen his first move.

Four US destroyers, USS Mahan, USS Gravely, USS Barry and the USS Ramage are currently positioned in the eastern Mediterranean. They now are in striking distance of Syria, and possibly armed with up to 90 Tomahawk missiles each. No orders have come in yet, but it is possible that the United States is considering joining with NATO and the Arab League to hit critical military targets of the Assad regime.

Chemical weapons manufacturing sites are not likely to be targeted by the Tomahawk missiles. Besides the difficulty targeting them accurately, there are many collateral dangers to blowing up chemical weapons. Instead, possible targets could include the Syrian government’s air force bases, chain of command outposts and munitions. Loss of those military targets could hurt the Assad regime’s ability to deploy chemical weapon attacks against civilians. Also, it will level the battlefield between the rebels and the Syrian army, taking away the government’s main advantages over the rebels.