Last night, U. S. President Donald Trump ordered a strike on the Syrian airfield that was the most likely launching point of a Sarin nerve gas attack strike that killed dozens of Syrian civilians several days ago. 59 Tomahawk missiles fired from American ships in the region caused significant damage to Shayrat Airfield, severely degrading the ability of the regime to deliver chemical weapons.
The Syrian airfield targeted by United States airstrikes early Friday was “almost completely destroyed,” a human rights group in the country said.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the missile attack damaged over a dozen hangars, a fuel depot and an air defense base. About 60 U.S. Tomahawk missiles hit the Shayrat air base, southeast of Homs, a small installation with two runways.
At least seven Syrian soldiers were killed and nine wounded in the airstrike, the country’s military said. The governor of Homs province said he did not believe the strikes caused a large number of “human casualties.” A Syrian official the attack caused deaths and a fire, but did not elaborate.
The U.S. missiles hit at 3:45 a.m. local time in Syria. Syrian state TV called the attack an “aggression” that lead to “losses.”
“Initial indications are that this strike has severely damaged or destroyed Syrian aircraft and support infrastructure and equipment at Shayrat Airfield, reducing the Syrian government’s ability to deliver chemical weapons,” Captain Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, said, according to Reuters.
Davis said the U.S. was still assessing the result of the 59 Tomahawks it fired, expressing hope that Assad’s government learned a lesson. He said it was ultimately “the regime’s choice” if more U.S. military action would be needed.
President Trump released a statement about the attack.
Tonight I ordered a targeted military strike…… pic.twitter.com/3nUzrdiGzX
— President Trump (@POTUS) April 7, 2017
The Syrian government’s allies Russia and Iran have called the airstrikes a “violation of international law,” which was brusquely countered by U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson saying that, “either Russia has been complicit (in the attacks) or Russia has been simply incompetent.”
Without weighing in on the political or military implications on the results of the U.S. airstrike that seems to have largely destroyed Shayrat Airfield, it is important to note that such a strike may increase the likelihood of both “lone wolf” and organized terror attacks in the United States. It is well known that Iran is a major sponsor of international terrorism, and that they have spent many years building a presence in Central and South America, allied with drug cartels. The Iranian terror group Hezbollah has been smuggling people over the Mexican border since at least 2009, a threat never seriously countered by the Obama administration even as the Obama ATF smuggled guns to the very cartels working with the Iranians.
It is believed by many intelligence and counterterrorism experts that Iranian-backed terrorist sleeper cells exist in the United States, and it is logical to assume that they have preselected soft targets to inflict massive casualties. Will the the attack on Iran’s ally Syria be the trigger for one or more terror attacks in the United States? There’s simply no way to tell at this time.
What I would suggest in response, however, is to carry your concealed weapons (which you should be doing anyway) until we get a better sense of how Iran and Russia intend to respond to the destruction of Shayrat Airfield. If you have tactical medical training and an IFAK (individual first aid kit) as you should, that would also be prudent to bring with you, or otherwise kept close at hand.
There is no specific reason to believe that a terror attack will result from last night’s military action, but it is always better to be prepared to defend yourself and those you love than be caught completely unaware.