April 11, 2018

As Trump considers military action on Syria, Pentagon worries it could put Russian soldiers in the crosshairs

Featuring Ilan Goldenberg

Source: The Los Angeles Times

Journalist David Cloud

As Pentagon planners ready a possible military response to a suspected poison gas attack in Syria, one danger has sparked special concern — whether U.S. airstrikes may inadvertently kill Russian soldiers in Syria and escalate the regional war into a confrontation between Washington and Moscow.

The chances of a potential clash would increase if President Trump opts for a heavy bombardment, employing not only Tomahawk cruise missiles fired from Navy ships offshore — as he did last year after a previous chemical attack — but also manned bombers and other warplanes to strike multiple targets in Syria, current and former officials say.

Although Trump said Monday that he would make a "major decision" in 24 to 48 hours, the timing of a U.S.-led strike could be delayed by Syria's announcement Tuesday that it will allow international chemical weapons inspectors into the country to investigate Saturday's attack, which left about 50 people dead in the rebel-held town of Duma, as well as by the need for the Pentagon and U.S. allies to get sufficient military forces in place.


Read the full article at The Los Angeles Times

  • Ilan Goldenberg

    Senior Fellow and Director, Middle East Security Program

    Ilan Goldenberg is Senior Fellow and Director of the Middle East Security Program at the Center for a New American Security. He is a foreign policy and defense expert with ext...