US warned of Syria 'sophisticated air defense'
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A political analyst has cautioned the US against launching a military attack on Syria, saying the Middle Eastern country has sophisticated air defense capabilities, Press TV reports. "I think the Americans have to think twice before they start a war...; the Americans cannot put any limit to this war," Hisham Jaber, a retired army general from Beirut, told Press TV on Thursday. Jaber said the most important military capability of Syria is its air defense systems, including the S-200, which can intercept missiles violating its airspace. "The question is, first of all, will Syria defend itself? The answer is yes. Syria will use [its] air defense systems, like S-200, to intercept ... [US] Tomahawk" missiles, he said. The comments come amid the growing talk of war against Syria. The war rhetoric against the Middle Eastern country first gained momentum on August 21, when the militants operating inside Syria and the foreign-backed Syrian opposition claimed that over a thousand people had been killed in a government chemical attack on the outskirts of Damascus. Damascus categorically rejected the accusation. Nevertheless, a number of Western countries, including the US, France, and the UK, quickly started campaigning for war. Since then, media outlets have reported US plans for likely surgical attacks, which would be in the form of "cruise-missile strikes," and "could rely on ... US destroyers in the Mediterranean [Sea]." Blatant calls for war by the US President Barack Obama administration have not faded despite reluctance by some of its closest allies to engage in any military intervention in Syria. Obama has said his administration will first seek authorization for the attack from a skeptical Congress.