The United States has vowed to respond to the Syrian government’s alleged use of chemical weapons against the rebel-held town of Douma with missile strikes.
Russia, an ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, has pledged to retaliate if the Pentagon does carry out strikes for what it described as a “fabrication” chemical gas attack.
Analysts answered five key questions about what to expect next.
What types of US missiles could be fired?
Lawrence Korb, former US assistant secretary of defence, told Al Jazeera the US military is likely to use Tomahawk missiles.
Tomahawks were used in previous US attacks in Syria last year in response to the use of chemical weapons in the rebel-held Khan Sheikhoun town of Idlib province.
The Pentagon said 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles were fired from two warships in the Mediterranean at the Shayrat airfield in Homs province, targeting a Syrian airbase from where US officials alleged the Khan Sheikhoun chemical attack had been launched. Six Syrian military personnel were killed.
This time the Tomahawks may be relied on again, analysts said.
“According to unofficial sources, the US deployed several carriers with cruise missiles in the Mediterranean and Red Seas,” said Fuad Shahbazov, a security and military expert based in Azerbaijan.
“Also possible attacks with fighter jets should be considered as the US has huge airbases in the Gulf countries,” he added.