Q&A with AlJazeera: 5 things to know about the expected US strikes in Syria

The US carried out 59 Tomahawk missile strikes in Syria last year after a chemical gas attack it blamed on the Assad regime [US Navy/Handout/Reuters]
The US carried out 59 Tomahawk missile strikes in Syria last year after a chemical gas attack it blamed on the Assad regime [US Navy/Handout/Reuters]

What types of US missiles could be fired?

According to sources, the US deployed several carriers with cruise missiles in the Mediterranean and Red Seas,” said Fuad Shahbazov, a security and military expert based in Azerbaijan.

“Also possible attacks with fighter jets should be considered as the US has huge airbases in the Gulf countries,” he added.

The US will most likely strike the Syrian army’s command and control headquarters, as well as its chemical weapons storage, according to Shahbazov. Judging by the current location of US cruise missiles aboard its naval vessels, pro-Assad strongholds along the Mediterranean, in Latakia province, may face attacks from the sea, he said.

What is Russia’s likely response?

Moscow’s reaction will most probably be limited to public condemnation, if the US does not target the Russian military, according to Korb.

However, Shahbazov said the Russian defence ministry’s warnings about retaliation should be noted. “[Russia’s response] will include missile attacks against opposition forces and military positions of the US special forces,” he said, adding a long-term ground operation against the rebels was highly unlikely.

What type of anti-missile systems does Moscow have in Syria? Can they counter US strikes?

Shahbazov said Russia’s main anti-missile system in Syria, the S300 Gladiator, was deployed in the country at the end of 2016 .

“However, it is also possible that Russia will use its modern S400 system that also has been deployed in Syria for more than a year. This system may challenge all modern fighter jets. But Russia has not used this system in Syria yet,” he said.

The original material was published here