How will Russia respond?
Assuming Trump bombs Syria, which appears to be likely, what will/can Russia do?
Plenty. What's more, they seem willing to respond.
First of all, Syria and Russia aren't the Taliban or Saddam's Iraq.
The bombing itself may not go according to plan.
Russia has been deploying anti-missile defenses since last year, although they appear to be concentrated in the north-west part of Syria.
Assuming that Israeli weapons are a proxy for our weapons (a safe bet), then it's likely that not all of our missiles will make it to the targets.
The statement also said that the strike was carried out by two Israeli fighter jets in Lebanese airspace and that Syrian air defenses intercepted between five and eight missiles.
Five out of how many? It's impossible to say.
Now America can avoid the anti-missile defenses by bombing Syria directly, but that has greater risks.
Syrian anti-aircraft batteries scored a rare shoot-down of an Israeli F-16 late Saturday morning local time. It is being alleged by a whole range of analysts that this shoot-down could not have happened without Russian help. It required that the anti-aircraft personnel break Israeli radar jamming. Since Russia supplies Syrian anti-aircraft weaponry, and Russian technicians maintain it and train their Syrian colleagues, a Russian hand here is highly likely.
Now normally we would avoid the risk of one of our pilots getting shot down by using drones, but Russia has a response to that as well.
The Russian military has been jamming some U.S. military drones operating in the skies over Syria, seriously affecting American military operations, according to four U.S. officials.
The Russians began jamming some smaller U.S. drones several weeks ago, the officials said, after a series of suspected chemical weapons attacks on civilians in rebel-held eastern Ghouta. The Russian military was concerned the U.S. military would retaliate for the attacks and began jamming the GPS systems of drones operating in the area, the officials explained.
Russia has also deployed their most advanced fighters in Syria, but I'd be surprised if they directly confronted us in the skies.
It's more likely that they would be happy with just shooting down a few of our bombers, which hasn't been an issue since the first Gulf War.
And that's only the start.
While we are busy with Damascus, Russia's new buddy in the region, Turkey, could make a move on Manbij.
Russia might be indirectly encouraging Turkey to advance toward Syria’s northeastern town of Manbij while further sidelining Washington from the Syrian scene after President Donald Trump voiced his plans to withdraw US troops from Syria, sources familiar with the situation hinted after a summit on Syria last week in Turkey.
...Meanwhile, Turkey would like to "liberate" Manbij from the People's Protection Units (YPG), which Ankara considers a Kurdish terrorist group. Although Moscow doesn't necessarily want to see further escalation in that area, sources say Russia might be nudging the Turkish military to enter Manbij to disrupt Ankara's ties with Washington and NATO. The United States has special operations units in Manbij, and there is a risk of direct confrontation. The United States has repeatedly warned Turkey not to advance toward Manbij.
Both the U.S. and France have military bases around Manbij.
A move by Turkey on Manbij would throw all of the neocon's plans for Syria into chaos.