Tuesday 10 April 2018 Update: Syrian Happenings


Attention is focused on Washington DC today as the world waits to see how the United States chooses to respond to the suspected chemical weapons attack in Douma, Syria on 7 April. This morning it was announced that President Trump will not be attending the Summit of the Americas in Peru, or traveling to Bogota, Columbia afterwards as planned. Instead, the president will remain in Washington to  “oversee the American response to Syria and to monitor developments around the world” according to the White House. This recent development has increased speculation that US military action could be coming soon. Reports that Trump has been in consultation with London and Paris suggest a broader Western military response is possible as well.

In fact, the possibility of British involvement at the very least is growing. A short time ago I spoke to an associate of mine who lives a short distance away from RAF Akrotri, the British airbase on Cyprus. He verified that the level of activity there has increased over the past few hours and shows no sign of dropping off. Right now I am trying to obtain more information from him. If I do, I will pass it along.

On the military front, numerous reports surfaced yesterday that the destroyer USS Donald Cook was moving into waters near Syria, and Russian aircraft were conducting low level flights nearby. The Pentagon denied the reports and they were never confirmed by any major independent media outlets. If Cook is in the vicinity of Syria it makes sense for Russian aircraft to harass any potential TLAM shooters, and keep a close eye on them as the situation unfolds. It should also be noted that given the range of the TLAM, Cook does not have to be anywhere close to the Syrian coastline. She could launch cruise missiles from practically anywhere in the Mediterranean. However, given political considerations and such, it does make sense to volley TLAMs as close to Syria as the situation allows.


It is mid-afternoon here in the eastern United States and there is much happening with regards to Syria from Washington to Europe, and the Med. I’ll try and post another update early in the evening and offer some thoughts about if or when military action against the Syrian government might begin.




14 April Update: Deadline Passes, Pro-Russian Aggression Resumes, Russia Challenges The US Navy



Nothing displays weakness and encourages aggression more than issuing a deadline/ultimatum to the opposition and then letting it pass without taking  concrete action. That is what has happened in the Ukraine. The government in Kiev had three choices: Do nothing, do something that will help bring about a positive conclusion to the crisis, or do something indecisive and exacerbate the current situation.

Kiev has apparently selected Option #3.

The deadline has come and gone. Yesterday, on Facebook of all places, Ukrainian officials boasted about the commencement of ‘anti-terror’ operations in the eastern part of the country. Those operations have yet to begin. Kiev continues to be committed to a political resolution of the crisis. That is understandable. However, if that is the case, Kiev should refrain from declaring ultimatums. Instead of helping to resolve the crisis, the empty threats have only undermined the government’s position.

There are signs of this evident in the eastern region today. Pro-Russia crowds stormed and took over a police station in Horlivka, a town outside of Donetsk. In the coming days, expect more government buildings to fall into the hands of demonstrators. Russia and the protesters in the eastern Ukraine will most likely become even more emboldened by Kiev’s weakness and look to exploit it.

In the Black Sea, there are signs of Russia challenging the US Navy presence in the region. Yesterday, an Su-24 Fencer fighter-bomber made numerous passes in close proximity to the USS. Donald Cook, a US destroyer sailing in the Black Sea. Encounters like this are far from uncommon. Yet, given the tension in the region, Moscow is undoubtedly sending a message to the US.