Destroyers in Syria are at the ready and waiting on President Barack Obama’s call if necessary near the Eastern Mediterranean, with the four destroyers being prepared to attack the Syrian regime and its own military assets “if necessary,” the Washington Times reported this Monday, Aug. 26. Each of the four Navy ships is equipped with anywhere between 70 to 90 Tomahawk cruise missiles, confirmed defense officials.
Destroyers Syria has risen among trending terms this week following the four U.S. Navy destroyers — the USS Ramage, USS Mahan, USS Barry, and USS Gravely — being stationed at the ready in the Eastern Mediterranean should the green light be given for a military offensive.
“[These warships] are poised and positioned … should any attack options be taken,” said one defense official yesterday.
The planned positioning of destroyers near Syria has been the U.S. response to an alleged chemical weapons attack that the Syrian government used against both civilians and protesters, where toxic gas was said to have killed anywhere from 300 up to 1,300 people.
Syria officials have continued to deny this chemical attack, but both rebel forces and Doctors Without Borders are insisting that the signs of toxic warfare and high number of deaths are undeniable.
As of Tuesday afternoon, President Obama has not decided upon any official military offensive toward Syria, though that possibility remains a very real one after the U.S. Secretary of State affirmed that the nation had determined a chemical attack did indeed occur in Syria last week.
The reasoning behind the suspicion is that Syria refused at first to let U.N. inspectors look into the aftermath of the attack, and the permission (when finally given) was far too late, not at all hinting “at the behavior of a government that has nothing to hide.”
Although the Navy destroyer USS Mahan was set to rotate from the Eastern Mediterranean this week, the 6th Fleet has opted that the warship remain in the area, pending President Obama’s directions.
“[The four destroyers] are in position if needed and at the ready, but they, to my knowledge, have received no tasking to this point, and that would come obviously from the White House,” concluded the defense official. “If any military attack does come to pass, it’s about the destroyers in the eastern Med right now.”
Submarines that are similarly armed with cruise missiles are also located in classified locations in the Mediterranean. Russia has warned the U.S. this week not to interfere with Syria’s affairs, though it remains to be seen what America’s (and President Obama’s) response will be.
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