Possible Scenarios of the Conflict in Syria

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The first part of the video depicts the worst-case escalation scenario of the conflict in Syria. The last part of the video shows, we hope, the most possible developments concerning Syria.

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In terms of the actual failure of diplomatic efforts to resolve the Syrian crisis, the threat of a direct armed conflict between Russia and the United States is becoming more and more of a reality.

In simulating a possible armed conflict between the Armed Forces of the involved countries, we can state with some confidence that it will commence with a series of provocative actions. Possibilities include air strikes of “unknown aircraft” on civilians, the use of chemical weapons, destruction of humanitarian convoys, “shooting” at military aircraft or ships of the coalition forces, and possibly even encompassing their complete destruction. The United States and Western countries will undoubtedly accuse the Syrian or Russian Armed Forces of any such action in this regard.

Furthermore, bypassing all the international organizations and their resolutions, a certain “group of friends of Syria” will declare a decision to establish a no-fly zone over Syria to “ensure the safety of the civilian population” as part of the US “R2P – Responsibility To Protect strategy. After a repeated provocative episode, for example, the use of chemical weapons, there will be an announcement for the beginning of a full scale military operation against the “criminal regime and its ally”

If it is decided to fully implement this power projection scenario, the target of the first strike will be air defense systems and command and control centers of the Syrian army. The US would show their strength and willingness to take extreme measures to offset the Assad regime. In this scenario, the campaign against the media propagandized “universal evil” is to improve the reputation of the United States on the world stage. This strike will be launched with cruise missiles upon the most vulnerable targets, which will be situated in locations with the weakest air defense system. The strikes will be carried out from a safe 500 km distance from the main targets. In this case, the US Mediterranean naval group will be out of the zone of defeat of anti-ship missiles “X-35” (Range – up to 200 km) and “Onyx” (SS-N-26 Strobile, range – up to 300 km). The Syrian army will not be able to strike back on its own, and Russia may be willing to make significant concessions in the negotiation process. That could relieve the United States from the need to carry out more extensive and costly operations.

However, Russia is likely to act from the position of strength. Qualifying the deaths of several groups of Russian military advisors in the Syrian targeted areas as an act of aggression, Russia can execute a number of various military operations, directly or indirectly. In particular, several American ships in the US Mediterranean fleet could be destroyed by stealthy diesel-electric submarines the Project 636 “Warszawianka”. In addition, US warships can be attacked by Tu-160 strategic bombers. Or US warships, aviation and ground forces and facilities in the Middle East which were involved in the aggression can be attacked by Russian rocket, artillery and air defense systems from Syrian territory and on behalf of Syrian Arab Army. Any such direct or indirect operations will also be framed by the US as an act of aggression. Thus, they will move on to the scenario of a massive attack of the forces of the two fleets

In general, this strike can be executed by more than 1500 cruise missiles. Currently in the Mediterranean Sea there is deployed 4 guided-missile destroyers of the US Navy – USS Ross (DDG-71), USS Carney (DDG 64), USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) and USS Porter (DDG 78). Each of them is equipped with multiple vertical launch systems with no less than 90 start-up cells, each of which can be charged with an anti-submarine, an anti-aircraft or a cruise missile. When the strikes are executed on the ground targets each cell can be charged with a cruise missile BGM-109 “Tomahawk”. The naval combat group would be shadowed with one nuclear-powered Ohio-class sub with more than 150 cruise missiles aboard.

The US 5th Fleet has another powerful group of warships, which can be deployed in the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea. Currently, in addition to the Aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), it is composed of four guided-missile destroyers USS Nitze (DDG 94), USS Roosevelt (DDG 80), USS Stout (DDG 55), USS Mason (DDG 87) and two guided-missile cruisers (USS San Jacinto (CG 56), USS Monterey (CG 61). This naval group is reinforced with two guided missile submarines.

The target of the massive strike will be the ships of the Russian Mediterranean fleet, command centers, airfields, air defense systems and electronic warfare. The US and its allies will resort to the force scenario only if they can achieve overwhelming superiority over their stated enemy. In spite of the deployment of air defense systems “Pantsir-S1″(SA-22 Greyhound), the S-300 (SA-10 Grumble) and S-400 (SA-21 Growler), as well as sea-based air defense systems, the army command and control systems as well as air defense systems of Russia and Syria, would receive irrepairable damage in the case of implementation of a massive attack by cruise missiles from a safe distance.

According to military experts, for the assured destruction of one Russian air defense complex, approximately 10 missile launches under the condition of retaliatory fire by the air defense complexes are required. According to some estimates, there are approximately up to 200 air defense systems on permanent combat readiness throughout Syria. However, the destruction of the primary radars can “blind” defense launchers. The only trump card in this scenario could be Russian top-secret electronic warfare systems, which theoretically could disorient the enemy cruise missiles as well as naval vessels. If this does not happen, it is unlikely that Russia will retaliate by means of conventional weapons. It may be sufficient, in one hour of operation, to eliminate the threat to the United States and its allies Air Forces.

In this situation, Russia will be faced with a choice: to abandon Syria, leaving it at the mercy of warring factions, or to respond with a tactical nuclear attack. The US calculation will be conducted based upon the premise that Russia in this situation would not dare to take such a step. According to I.27 of the Military Doctrine of the Russian Federation by 2014, “The Russian Federation shall reserve the right to use nuclear weapons in response to the use of nuclear and other types of weapons of mass destruction against it and/or its allies, as well as in the event of aggression against the Russian Federation with the use of conventional weapons when the very existence of the state is in jeopardy”. In this case, the United States and its allies do not use nuclear weapons and do not specifically pose a threat to the existence of the Russian state, although that point could be debated considering the US is continually imposing itself upon Russia’s borders and has played the role of aggressor since the beginning of the New Cold War.

Meanwhile taking into account the approximate flight time of cruise missiles to the target (roughly 40 minutes at missile speeds up to 880 km/h and the distance to target of 500 km), the military and political Russian leadership will have enough time to estimate the scale of the attack and resort to a Predetermined Response Plan. The main Russian counter strike would be executed upon the elements of the missile defense system in Europe. At the same time the concentrated forces of the 5th and 6th fleets will be entirely destroyed by the X-102 missiles from Tu-160 bombers. The US and its allies in their turn will try to launch a retaliatory nuclear strike on the territory of the Russia Federation. So the final step will be a strategic nuclear exchange.

However, considering a more likely the scenario that involves maintaining military parity in the  region, the parties may continue negotiations, gradually developing successes on various fronts. After the capture of Mosul and Raqqa the US coalition forces will attempt to gain control over as much Syrian terrain as possible. After the capture of Aleppo, Russia will also move to the center of the country. Thus, Syria will be divided into spheres of influence similar to post-war Germany. The parties then will begin long-term political negotiations on forming a national unity government and resolve the status of Kurdish autonomy. No matter how the situation  develops, Russia will continue to ensure the rise to power of a loyal government that is representative of the Syrian people, as well as being a staunch ally, and thus retain the Russian naval base in Syria. The recent win of Donald Trump in the US presidential election likely contributed to this peaceful scenario. Experts expect that with Trump in the White House, the main players in the region – Russia and the US – will have more chances to make a deal to divide the spheres of influence.

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  • Gue Bjuen

    everybody cheering the kurds i’ve got something that might interest you.
    https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/barzani-peshmerga-wont-withdraw-areas-liberated-isis/#respondBarzani: Peshmerga will not withdraw from areas it liberated from ISIS

  • Brad Isherwood

    Russia Intel would recognize an attempt to attack Syria and it’s military assets near Syria.
    No way Uncle Shlomo can get doofus NATO to sync with their strike plan.
    Russia would know before it happens and know what’s going to be used.

    Russian subs and Russian Tactical that can launch standoff would be positioned to counter.
    US would know also….so….if they want to loose Carriers and Aegis Cruisers/DDs,
    Just so they can punch Russia and Syria….then it could be on….if they were/are that insane To pay that price. …for unknown outcome.

    Syria might only take 20% hits….while US loses 2 Carriers and 8 ships in a matter of hours.
    No way CNN hides that kind of @ss kicking.

    • john mason

      Russian Shkval torpedo is the worlds fastest, 370kph. US and NATO can not match. Russian subs and ships carry them. Doubt that the US will start anything.

      • Peter Magnus

        The reality is that the US ASW equipment are more than up to the task of protecting its carriers, and how are the subs supposed to make it to the med? Even in a limited Russ-US conflict over Syria the US would lean on its allies to close Gibraltar,Bosborus and Suez. Its unthinkable they would not, even Erdogan would cave within 3 minutes.

        The reality of the situation is that the Russians would be unable to do much in return in Syria, they could possible shoot down a few planes before they got wiped out.
        Teheir real strength lies in Eastern Europe, a theater it in wich would be logical for them to escalate as a response. The Russian federation simply does not posess the logistical resources to compete with the US anywhere but home turf.

        But luckily such a conflict does now seem like fantasy….

        • sólyomszem

          Russia does not need return to Syria in that case. It is enough to destroy all oil and gas fields in tje middle est + bosphours, dardenelles, istambul using Satans.

          and after that the gringos can have the radioactive deserts.

          • Peter Magnus

            If Russia were to choose the nuclear option, they might as well nuke their own cities, as that is the result.

            No sane person would ever consider using nukes, its why a war in the baltics are being floated as possible.

            And the Russian leaders might be strange etc. But they are sane!

        • Joseph Scott

          The reality is anything but that. The US Navy tries very hard to mask the extreme vulnerabilities of it’s carriers to submarine attack, to the point that during US-only exercises, senior officers complete ignore successful submarine attacks by subs playing OpFor, and pretend the carriers are unsinkable. It’s become such a joke in the submarine service that US sub commanders have taken to swapping periscope shots of the carriers they’ve ‘sunk.’ In multi-national wargames, where US admirals can’t just declare their carriers ‘unsinkable’ by fiat, carriers are sunk by subs all the time. And those are just exercises.

          The author of the 1987 book War Games, Thomas B. Allen, described this naval censorship during an interview with the American NPR network in 2003. “The Navy had a kind of unwritten rule: You can’t sink an aircraft carrier in a war game. And if you talked to any submariner who had been in either an exercise or a war game, you get a whole story about how many times they really sank aircraft carriers.”

          Congressional Budget Office revealed in 2001: “Some analysts argue that the Navy is not very good at locating diesel-electric submarines, especially in noisy, shallower waters near coastal areas. Exercises with allied navies that use diesel-electric submarines confirm that problem. U.S. antisubmarine units reportedly have had trouble detecting and countering diesel-electric submarines of South American countries. Israeli diesel-electric submarines, which until recently were relatively old, are said
          to always ‘sink’ some of the large and powerful warships of the U.S. Sixth Fleet in exercises. And most recently, an Australian Collins class submarine penetrated a U.S. carrier battle group and was in a position to sink an aircraft carrier during exercises off Hawaii in May 2000. Thus, if a real opponent had even one such submarine with a competent commanding officer and crew, it could dramatically limit the freedom of action of U.S. naval forces in future conflicts.”

          “My own experience (in war games) is that I never have any problem getting a carrier…those fleets are going to get ground into peanut butter in a war.” – Anonymous U.S.N submarine commander on how easy it is to find and sink a U.S.N. aircraft carrier.

          American retired submarine commander, Captain John L. Byron, also intimated in the early 1980s that even noisy American nuclear submarines had little difficulty operating against U.S. Navy carriers. “Operating against a carrier is too easy,” he quipped. “The carrier’s ASW protection often resembles Swiss cheese.

          Another former U.S. Navy officer and columnist, the late Scott Shuger, said pretty much the same thing in 1989: “I’ve seen enough photos of American carriers through periscope crosshairs – most sub crew offices feature one – to become a believer. Despite all the antisubmarine warfare equipment that carrier groups take with them to sea, in my own experience most exercises against subs ended up with my carrier getting a green flare at close quarters, the standard simulation for a successful torpedo or cruise missile attack.”

          Back in the 70s, Admiral Rickover, the “father of nuclear navy,” had to
          answer the question before the U.S. Senate: “How long would our aircraft
          carriers survive in a battle against the Russian Navy?” His response
          caused disillusionment: “Two or three days before they sink, maybe a
          week if they stay in the harbor.”

          There is simply no evidence, least of all from inside the US Navy, that their ASW capability is adequate to protect carriers from submarine attack.

          • Kell
          • Joseph Scott

            Exactly what I am talking about. Good sub commanders outwit US ASW all the time. The Australians are becoming rather infamous for their repeated ability to do so.

          • Bob

            That is Aus Collins class sub – that has had lot of issues, rattly, noisy, diesel engine, and electronically problematic with any upgrades, outdoing US Navy!
            Australian politicians don’t even want to let the Aus Sub Corp who built and maintain the Collins to produce next gen sub. They want off the shelf from Japan, but are politically hamstrung by reality of an electoral wipe-out in the state that the Corp and its job sector operates from if do so.

          • Joseph Scott

            Well, I’m sure crew quality has something to do with it. Despite all the hype out there, the US military is generally not on par with any of it’s Five Eyes companions in training standards. (Or with Germany, Israel or South Korea, either.) Also, diesel subs are just quieter than nuclear ones, however much the US pretends otherwise, and the Australians managed to design better quality anti-sonar tiles for the sub’s exterior than contemporary American or British ones. (Because they were forced to. No one would share their schematics.)

            It is interesting to here you say that, because you can hear talk of the Collins as “a very capable and quiet submarine,” mostly because of the performance of two subs during wargames with the US like the video. Thus, a Collins escorting a US carrier sank the two US attacks subs sent to attack it, then, in the aggressor role, turned around and sank both subs again, and moved into a position to attack the carrier. Later, she sank two US amphibious assault ships (with typical battle group escort screens). Another sank an amphibious assault ship and LSD, also heavily escorted, then later two US attack subs and a carrier.

          • Bob

            Collins was commissioned in late 80’s and recall spent lot of time in 90’s having lot of problems. There were really despairing media reports at the time of whole project.The thing you mention about having to design own anti sonar tiles, is indicative of story – kept having to scratch build elements, and particularly, trying to integrate off-shelf electronics into these was endless issue.
            Now, whilst self design can be productive, in create something potentially better, develops local industry, and also creates great benefit of an unknown factor – for a relatively small naval budget state is gets crippling to their overall operational structure.
            Evidently they massaged the sub into a decent product, but it took a lot of rectification throughout 90’s and sucked up a ton of money that had to be found where didn’t exist – and Aus politicians are now very shy of repeating the exercise. Which is of course is a paradox, as to get the sub decent, an entire skill-set was necessarily developed over two decades, that either gets lost in future or politicians put faith in, it to build another project with the hard lessons learnt. We’ll see!

          • Bob

            Thanks for posting vid.

          • Dave Gray

            Excellent info !!!!

        • Bob

          Why do you think the Russians launched their Kalibar class cruise missiles from Caspian Sea into militants in Syria? It was a warning – they can reach and touch a lot more than was previously assumed – ie 5th Fleet in Bahrain – Boom.

          • Peter Magnus

            You need to see it to kill it, a missile dont have much sofistixated detection equipment. Knowing that “something” is out “there” simply dont cut it. If it did warships,planes,cannons,tanks,armies etc. Would be obsolete.

          • Bob

            What?
            Seriously?
            Cruise missiles have on-board computers and use guidance systems such as TERCOM and GPS – they hit their targets, hard!

          • Peter Magnus

            If they know where they their targets are when launched. To launch at the area at Bharain frim th Caspian needs lot of Intel. Something the Russians wont gave the moment the US fleets go out to sea. A cruise missile dont have the equipment to detect warships over a large area

          • Bob

            Are you familiar with the Persian Gulf? It is only water way to Bahrain, and just opposite is Iran – where Russia can use the airspace as they please.

  • Richard

    Southfront, you’re doing a great job, outstanding work …but you need to compress the size of your videos. This one is 40mb +and with my crap internet its taken over 30mins to watch it!

    • ruca

      Better to offer a low-res version too. I like the long vids.

    • paul

      An audio only version might be the the best solution for you and anyone else
      in difficult band width circumstances.

  • Raphael

    What about China? I don’t think that they will just wait around while the us tries to destroy Russia. They know that they are the next domino.

    • paul

      This is a good point. Also what about Iran? I believe they have the power to
      sent any ships in the Persian Gulf to a watery resting place. My own
      feeling is that both China and Iran would dither. This would be a
      fatal mistake.

      • Douglas Houck

        I agree that Iran may be more than willing to use their anti-ship missiles against US Navy ships in the Persian Gulf. What is the benefit of going down this path for the US? I don’t see them wanting any conflict with Russia or Iran over Syria,

  • john mason

    US starts the conflict based on false flags. If the final analysis of the video is to happen then that makes the whole situation unacceptable. Syria was a whole state prior to US attempt of regime change and it should remain as a whole country, no divisions. It is also unacceptable that the US and Russia decide the division.

  • paul

    Yes well if any of that happens I for one look forwards to The First Guards
    Tank Army taking its T14 to the center of Berlin.

  • George King

    President Putin and the Defense Minster has already had their say on any attack perceived against any Russian assets in Syria will be met with total destruction of the sources of the launches and the launched weapons.

    It has been established that the US can not be trusted (as native US Indians coined, speaks with forked tongue) and the cry of wolf will not save any involved conspirators including Israel and NATO members. Lo and behold any false flag/s that will not protect US goverment officials in the US itself from it’s own citizens lamp post. They have spoken on this ME issue already as well as in England.

    As they say in Texas all hat but no cattle sums up a paper tiger that does not want to be exposed for what it is including the MIC which has racked up trillions of dollars for ineffective weapons systems on the US tax payer.

  • S600

    Russians are still building the tactical and military capability so I don’t think they want to escalate the confrontation to annihilation level.

    In coming weeks confrontation between FSA and SAA is inevitable in Northern Aleppo where FSA un doubtedly will try to break the East Aleppo siege. This will bring the decision point for Russians to how far they can stretch with Turkey. Turks have not delivered on blocking Al Nusra monitoring supply routes and thus Russians are forced to play their hand in Al Bab area.

    Above will lead the NATO/US into the conflict if they want to(as Turks have not behaved well for them too). If combat remains between SyAF and Turk Air force that is still tolerable but if Russians assets are hit on the ground by air strikes or Artillery then that would be begining of next level. This also means that Russians will loose the supply route of “Syrian Express” and they will be either flying in the supplies or taking the same route that Kuznetsov and other ships have taken significantly limiting the inventory capability of Regime forces and Helpers.

    So there is still lot of things to play in local theatre before it goes regional or global and Russian would like to keep that way as “China” is not yet ready for larger confrontations as can be seen from ongoing South China issues.

  • Ali Hassan Bhuiyan

    Nice analysis. But ther is a doubt. if it would calculated that the matter of complete destruction of the air defence system in Syria of russia including S-300, S-400 or like is not realistic. One thing should be in count and it is the mobility of the systems are deployed in Syria. It is not rational to think that US triggered and at least before 10 minutes of hitting Russians didn’t get acknowledged at that crucial time . Don’t forget the Turkey coap.