U.S. Navy ready for strikes on Syria, admiral says

US SYRIA

The chief of U.S. naval operations, Adm. Jonathan Greenert, said Friday in Arlington, Virginia, that the U.S. Navy is ready for a possible strike on Syria. EFE/File
The chief of U.S. naval operations, Adm. Jonathan Greenert, said Friday in Arlington, Virginia, that the U.S. Navy is ready for a possible strike on Syria. EFE/File

— The U.S. Navy is ready for a possible strike on Syria, the Chief of Naval Operations told Efe Friday in an interview.

"We are ready. The units that are involved have been on deployment, and they were already out there," Adm. Jonathan Greenert said after a presentation before the Association of Naval Services Officers in Arlington, Virginia.

"When we deploy our ships, we deploy them ready for a whole spectrum of operations, and this (a strike on Syria) would be one of them," he said. "We have to (deploy) where it matters, when it matters."

Four U.S. Navy destroyers, the USS Barry, USS Stout, USS Gravely and USS Ramage, are in the eastern Mediterranean and each is armed with up to 96 Tomahawk missiles, Greenert said Thursday in a speech to the American Enterprise Institute.

The Navy relies on innovation, resources and hightech arms to maintain its asymmetrical advantage, the admiral told Efe.

"You have to look at what will provide the best effect and it might be a cyber action, a laser action something like the rail gun or a cruise missile, and so everything isn't kinetic," he said.

"It might be best if I can cause a missile system to turn off rather than blowing up all the time which is long, laborious, violent and takes time ... so you have to have a range of possibilities out there and technology will provide us that," Greenert said.

The Syrian resolution being studied by Congress bars the deployment of "boots on the ground" and imposes a limit of up to 90 days for limited military operations.

President Barack Obama is seeking international support for a military strike against Syria and next Tuesday will address the nation to try and convince public opinion about the urgent need for the attack.

Both Obama and members of his Cabinet say the purpose of a military attack would be to punish the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime on Aug. 21.