Syria: US/UK Strike
Options, US Response
and Jihadist Chatter
IHS Expert Analysis and Comment
Copyright © 2012 IHS Inc. 2
Strike Options
Jeremy Binnie, Middle East & Africa Editor
• ‘Limited strike’ option would use ...
Copyright © 2012 IHS Inc. 3
UK Military Options
Nick de Larrinaga, Europe Editor
• Likelihood of small-scale, precision st...
Copyright © 2012 IHS Inc. 4
US Response
Alexia Ash, Head of North America Analysis
• The US is faced with the reality that...
Copyright © 2012 IHS Inc. 5
Jihadist Chatter
Charles Lister, Terrorism & Insurgency Analyst
• Jihadists and sympathisers a...
Copyright © 2012 IHS Inc. 6
Jihadist Chatter
Charles Lister, Terrorism & Insurgency Analyst
• If jihadist leaders were to ...
Copyright © 2012 IHS Inc. 7
This analysis and comment has been
extracted from IHS insight products
including the following...
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IHS Analysis: Syria - US/UK Strike Options, US Response & Jihadist Chatter

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IHS military, terrorism and country risk experts assess
strike options, the US reaction, and Jihadist chatter on Syria.

Published in: News & Politics, Travel
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IHS Analysis: Syria - US/UK Strike Options, US Response & Jihadist Chatter

  1. 1. Syria: US/UK Strike Options, US Response and Jihadist Chatter IHS Expert Analysis and Comment
  2. 2. Copyright © 2012 IHS Inc. 2 Strike Options Jeremy Binnie, Middle East & Africa Editor • ‘Limited strike’ option would use ‘stand-off’ weapons such as Tomahawk cruise missiles to minimise danger to US personnel • These would target the most significant Syrian military facilities and assets • Essentially punishment for using chemical weapons rather than an attempt to decisively swing the balance of power in favour of the opposition • An operation to neutralise Syria’s chemical warfare capabilities would be far more extensive • Likely involving a no-fly zone and deployment of thousands of Special Forces on the ground to secure chemical weapons storage, research and production facilities • Implication is that the US military does not see a way of safely destroying chemical weapons using air/missile strikes alone
  3. 3. Copyright © 2012 IHS Inc. 3 UK Military Options Nick de Larrinaga, Europe Editor • Likelihood of small-scale, precision strikes has significantly increased since Britain, France and the US essentially accused Assad of using chemical weapons • UK and US submarines are likely already deployed to the eastern Mediterranean waters or the Gulf for such a contingency • UK’s Cyprus air base could play a supporting role to any military action • It is unlikely that manned sorties into Syrian airspace will occur at this point given the risks involved. • UN Security Council-endorsed military action is a no-go because Russia and China would likely veto it • Given past talk of ‘red lines’ it appears likely that some form of military response is now inevitable – either US-led coalition or NATO-endorsed mission
  4. 4. Copyright © 2012 IHS Inc. 4 US Response Alexia Ash, Head of North America Analysis • The US is faced with the reality that the ‘red lines’ it may have ignored last year have been crossed • With the shadow of the country’s status as a world power hanging over President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry, the US is very likely to intervene • The US is particularly concerned about the stability of the region, as the rapid escalation of the Syrian conflict will impact Lebanon, Iraq, and Israel
  5. 5. Copyright © 2012 IHS Inc. 5 Jihadist Chatter Charles Lister, Terrorism & Insurgency Analyst • Jihadists and sympathisers are distributing advice online relating to best practice in avoiding targeted strikes • There is a widespread perception within the jihadi community that any strikes could also target their senior leadership in Syria • Lessons learned from Iraq, Afghanistan and Mali are being shared • Most relate to putting all senior leaders in hiding and keeping their locations completely secret; planning future attacks as soon as possible so operations can continue when commanders are in hiding; and stockpiling food and medicine supplies for days to weeks • There has been no suggestion from the US or any other allied power that militants could also be targeted in any future strikes • It appears that jihadists are essentially hedging their bets • They have too much to lose if no precautions are taken
  6. 6. Copyright © 2012 IHS Inc. 6 Jihadist Chatter Charles Lister, Terrorism & Insurgency Analyst • If jihadist leaders were to be targeted, the majority of strikes would target jihadist stronghold areas in Aleppo, northern Latakia, Al-Raqqah and possibly also as far east as Deir ez Zour • Smaller jihadist-run bases further south in Rif Dimashq and Deraa are feasible, but these are unlikely to house senior leadership figures
  7. 7. Copyright © 2012 IHS Inc. 7 This analysis and comment has been extracted from IHS insight products including the following: >IHS Jane’s Terrorism & Insurgency Centre >IHS Jane’s Military & Security Assessments Intelligence Centre >IHS Advanced Country Analysis & Forecast

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