The U.S. Military Expands Its Network of Syrian Airfields
A recent article in the Russian state-owned Sputnik Turkey outlet speculated that the airfield the United States built from scratch in the Syrian-Kurdish Kobani region could become a substitute for Turkey’s Incirlik Air Base. The assertion is likely correct—but only to an extent. The United States has never been able to... Read more
Flights From Syrian Base Fell Sharply After U.S. Strike
Ever since U.S. President Donald Trump ordered two Navy warships to launch 59 BGM-109 Tomahawk missiles at the Shayrat Air Base in Syria in the pre-dawn hours of April 7, 2017, there is no end to the controversy over the background and outcome of the operation. Misinformation abounds, for... Read more
How F-22 Raptors Match Up to Russian Air Defenses in Syria
The United States is reportedly patrolling the skies above Syria using stealthy F-22 Raptors. The supersonically cruising air superiority jets are the only fighters in the U.S. inventory that can safely fly within the engagement envelope of Russian S-400 and S300V4 surface-to-air missiles defense while the Pentagon ascertains how the... Read more
Trump’s Cruise Missile Strike Could Be a Sign of Weakness
The Trump administration’s bombing of Syria’s Shayrat airbase with 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles, in response to a Syrian chemical attack less than 72 hours before, is comparable to the Clinton administration’s heavy reliance on such weapons. Clinton used the Tomahawks, along with air strikes, to reprimand Saddam for his... Read more
How Will Russia Respond to Trump’s Tomahawk Strike?
The Pentagon released a statement that the United States notified Russian forces in Syria in advance of the 59 Tomahawk-cruise-missile barrage against Shayrat Airfield on Thursday night. Likewise, National Security Advisor H. R. McMaster said at a press conference: “here was an effort to minimize … risk to third-country... Read more
U.S. Cruise Missiles Struck Syrian Base With Impressive Precision
Syria built Shayrat air base in the mid-1970s, applying lessons from the October 1973 Arab-Israeli War. Its purpose was to bolster air defenses against Israeli air strikes targeting the towns along the Syrian coast of the Mediterranean Sea. In 1983 and 1984, locally-based units of the 50th Brigade received... Read more
Trump Pummels Syrian Air Base With Missiles—Which Is Very Clinton-esque
On April 7 at 4:40 a.m., Syria time, 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles fired from U.S. Navy destroyers slammed into Shayrat Airfield, an important Syrian military base and the source of the nerve gas attack which killed dozens of civilians days before at Khan Sheikhoun, according to U.S. Pres. Donald... Read more
U.S. and Syrian Allies Stormed Across a Lake, Then Overran This Key Air Base
In late March 2017, the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces captured Al Tabqa air base from Islamic State militants in northeast Syria with U.S. air and artillery support. The operation followed an airborne assault across Lake Assad by 500 SDF fighters and U.S. troops— a bold maneuver and the first of its kind by... Read more
Russia Bombed Its Own Allies in Syria
On March 21, 2017, two major factions of the Free Syrian Army, the Turkistan Islamic Party and the extreme Islamist organization Hayat Tahrir Ash-Sham, or HTS — an offshoot of the former Jabhat An Nusra — together launched an offensive into northwestern Hama in western-central Syria. The resulting battle... Read more
Russia Has a Ton of Problems in Syria — Israeli Air Strikes Are Not One of Them
Israel’s Arrow missile defense system saw its combat debut in March 2017 when it shot down a Syrian S-200 surface-to-air missile, which was fired at Israeli fighter jets. The jets were returning home from an air strike inside Syria, reportedly targeting Syrian military positions in the country’s Homs province.... Read more

Paul Iddon

Contributing writer

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