"Syria is surrounded by Putin and Assad’s enemies: Turkey is a NATO country, Israel is America’s closest ally, Iraq is full of U.S. military personnel and pro-American forces, and Jordan is also a U.S. ally. The Mediterranean Sea itself is under control of the NATO forces: U.S. 6th Fleet, the British, French, Italian, Turkish, Spanish Navies," Censor.NET Chief Editor Yuri Butusov wrote on social media.
According to the journalist, the main advantages of the U.S. and NATO in Syria are: 400 combat aircraft based in Iraq, at Turkish Incirlik air base, on two U.S. nuclear-powered aircraft carriers; 20 American warships and submarines armed with hundreds of cruise missiles; the allies - especially such close and powerful one as Israel - which seek destruction of the Assad regime and kicking Russia and Iran out of Syria; extensive network of military bases making possible rapid build-up and forces maneuver.
"In fact, the Russian Federation operates only Khmeimim airbase located in five minutes by air from Turkey and Tartus naval base, meaning that Russia’s force is extremely vulnerable as its entire infrastructure hinges on two facilities. The attack of Syrian rebels on Hmeimim in January revealed that the base can hardly defend itself from guerillas," Butusov said.
The journalist believes sustainable and comprehensive radar coverage is another advantage the U.S. and its allies have in Syria.
"Neither Russia nor pro-Assad forces monitor the airspace. NATO sees everything being able to run a battle while Russia needs to bring in its only Syria-based Il -76 aircraft equipped with warning and control system," Censor.NET chief editor said.
The journalist also said that the international coalition would apparently go beyond airstrikes and get boots on the ground.
"NATO can easily and quickly build up its forces while Russia does not have such an opportunity. A NATO member – Turkey – yesterday closed navigation through the Bosporus allegedly because of the fog. This means that the Russian contingent has lost its main supply route. There is only one and extremely vulnerable supply channel left – by air. Russia just has no means to build up its naval force. The only aircraft carrier of the Russian Federation, Admiral Kuznetsov, was again laid up for repairs. This vessel is extremely unreliable, it is not sailable, and its airpower is incapacitated because the problem with the landing on its deck has not yet been solved by the Russian engineers. Two aircraft crashed during Kuznetsov’s last mission in Syria due to the arresting device failure. Reinforcement of the task air force in Hmeimim also makes no sense as it simply has not enough room, no protective aircraft shelters, no reliable air defense. I believe that the conflict in Syria would continue to be one-sided. NATO would be bombing pro-Assad forces while the Russian and Iranian troops would be hiding in their rat-holes to avoid getting on the chopping block too. Meanwhile, NATO special operation forces backed by airpower would secure the outskirts of the key cities hosting Assad's adversaries. Self-government bodies would be established on the liberated territory and the local armed formations would be reinforced," Butusov said.
On April 11, 2018, U.S. President Donald Trump said that Syria's President Bashar al-Assad would still be held accountable for the recent chemical weapons attack in Douma regardless of Russia's threats to bring down any missiles fired at Syria and target launch sites.
Syrian activist groups on Saturday said toxic gas inside barrel bombs dropped from helicopters over a rebel-held city in Syria killed dozens of civilians and wounded scores more. Syrian state news said an "official source" denied the allegations.
In the early hours of Monday morning, Syria State TV reported that "several missiles" had been fired at the T4 air base in Homs, in the country's west, adding that it was "likely an attack by the U.S." The Pentagon issued a statement Sunday denying it was conducting air strikes in the region.
On April 9, Russian U.N. Ambassador Vasily Nebenzia said that Moscow had warned the United States of "grave repercussions" if it carries out an attack against Syrian government forces over reports of a deadly chemical weapons attack.
"There was no chemical weapons attack," Nebenzia told the U.N. Security Council.
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley told the council that Washington "will respond" to the attack on a rebel-held town in Syria regardless of whether the United Nations Security Council acts or not.