Bashar Al Assad isn’t the only one making moves based on the probability of U.S. bombs, Al Qaeda is in the mix too.
The extremist militant group figures that they will also be targets of a torrent of U.S. cruise missiles.
Mark Stout, Senior Editor at War on the Rocks, writes:
Today, however, more and more jihadists are taking the United States’ military capabilities very seriously and this new view probably extends to other NATO militaries, as well. Certainly, there is little scoffing these days at the effectiveness of modern airpower or intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.
A few days ago when American strikes on Syria seemed imminent, Fatah al-Islam, among other groups, warned its members to be ready for the possibility that the strikes would be on jihadist targets as well as Assad regime targets.
The modern military’s ability to efficiently find targets has Al Qaeda leaders spooked, as Liz Sly of The Washington Post noted last week when she quoted an all-hands memo sent out to affiliates in Syria:
“Start changing your locations, and use safe houses, and don’t move around in obvious convoys. Take away mobile phones from the troops, and send them away from the leadership. America destroyed jihadi bases in a very short period of time in Afghanistan and Iraq, and killed a large number of them, because they weren’t prepared. So don’t fall in the trap of laziness.”
Among many ways the military locks on targets — human intelligence, boots on the ground with laser targeting systems — satellite and cell phone signals have been of great consequence.
Cruise missiles operate with a combination of four targeting systems, one of which is GPS, another which matches the contour of the landscape, and still yet another that stores GPS location and satellite images of the target.
All told, they are a deadly accurate weapon — and Obama has a few hundred parked off the coast of Syria.
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