Preparing for a military strike against Syria
The Syrian regime’s military assets
as of Sept. 7.
Since the suspected use of chemical weapons in Ghouta last week, the United States has made moves that make a strike on Syria's military more probable. Shown on the map are some of the current strike capabilities of the United States and its allies, as well as their most probable targets in Syria. Read related article.
Approximate areas with rebel presence
Selected U.S. resources in the area
U.K. base in Cyprus
Britain's Akrotiri Air Base is about 100 miles from the Syrian coast and could be a potential point of operation.
Five U.S. destroyers are moving to the eastern Mediterranean, each with the capability of firing cruise missiles more than 1,000 miles.
Incirlik Air Base, a U.S. Air Force installation, has been used for reconnaissance missions in the past.
Potential targets in Syria
The Mazzeh and Qasioun military complexes are home to Syria’s special forces, the elite Republican Guard and the 4th Armored Division, all powerful units close to President Bashar al-Assad.
Any operation will probably target air force bases, including the five largest ones shown here, to suppress the regime’s ability to conduct aerial strikes by hitting areas that house fighter planes and attack helicopters.
An improbable target
A suspected chemical attack in the Damascus suburbs prompted the U.S. to consider a military strike in Syria. However, the chemical weapons stockpile is an improbable target because attacking weapons sites increases the risk of dispersing harmful toxins.
SOURCES: Institute for the Study of War, GlobalSecurity, U.S. Navy, Washington Post and wire reports.