Great Satan (and Allied) Air Power in and around Suriya al Kubra are quite significant
In the event the U.S. intervenes in Syria, the opening shots will likely begin with cruise missile bombardments from the sea. But the U.S. has also prepared for a longer conflict, moving fighter aircraft into range by basing them in nearby Jordan. If called upon, they could support intercontinental bombers traveling thousands of miles to drop precision-guided munitions onto Assad’s forces.
Any war with Syria would have an entirely different set of physical constraints — surely being discussed over the next several days as Gen. Martin Dempsey meets in Jordan with generals from 10 nations; just as Assad’s forces attempt to shift the blame for the worst chemical attacks since the 1988 Halabja massacre.Syria’s population centers and Assad’s military forces are deep inside the country’s interior, unlike LibyaAnother option is basing aircraft at Incirlik Air Base in Turkey, which is a short hop away from the Syrian border. The U.S. would also be able to call on six short-range Harrier jump jets aboard the USS Kearsarge, which is believed to be sailing around the Red Sea and Gulf of Aqaba
Largely, the Jordanian build-up was carried out under the auspices of the annual Eager Lion war games, which concluded in late June out of the sprawling Mafraq Air Base east of Amman.Over two weeks, Jordanian and U.S. forces conducted combined-arms exercises — with thousands of ground troops participating from the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit and the Army’s 1st Armored Division — backed up by M-1 tanks and AH-1 attack helicopters. Meanwhile, fighter aircraft practiced air-to-air combat and trained how to respond in case Syrian fighter pilots attempt to defect.Among these include a squadron of F-16 fighters (a squadron normally comprises between 18 and 24 birds), which are capable of both intercepting Syrian fighters and dropping laser-guided smart bombs and air-to-ground missiles. A Patriot missile battery has been deployed to JordanAround 1,000 U.S. troops have also remained in the country, forming an advance operations and logistics lilypad in the event of a prolonged air campaign over Syria — waiting to organize and plan for a sudden build-up of strike aircraft and drones
Turkey has several reasons for supporting tougher action against Syria. The war has forced a surge of refugees across the border into Turkey. Ankara also would like to see Iranian influence curtailed, of which an Assad defeat would be a major blow.
44 might not be willing to push an action in Syria to the point of cruise missile strikes from the sea, let alone escalate to an aerial campaign across the Jordanian border and with bombers launched from South Dakota. But even America’s most limited interventions have a nasty habit of turning into protracted wars.
Pic - “Air power is an unusually seductive form of military strength, in part because, like modern courtship, it appears to offer gratification without commitment"