The US does not exclude any option in relation to the gas attack in Douma. The answer against Damascus could come not on the military front, but on the cyber one
Many people think that the US military reaction in Syria to the gas attack in Douma will involve missiles or an air attack. What if it were to be implemented differently? For example, in the cyber domain? The United States has the capacity, and the ability, to carry out massive cyber-attacks. They are also familiar with the target and its cyber defenses. In such a case, moreover, there are many objectives to target without risking civilian casualties or harming the population. What would happen, for example, if Damascus’ anti-missile and anti-aircraft defense systems suddenly turned off? The greatest deterrent capacity of the Middle Eastern country would be undermined. Something like this has already happened on April 7, 2017, when 59 Tomahawk missiles struck a military base in Syria in response to the Khan Sheikhoun massacre. On that occasion, the defense systems did not react.
Syria’s cyber defenses are not able to resist continuous and extensive cyber warfare actions. Which, incidentally, present no risks for civilians and operators
Besides, US hackers have most probably been infiltrating Syria’s critical systems for some time. So far, they have been dormant, carrying out no cyber warfare actions. There is no guarantee, however, that they will remain so. Quite the contrary. They are probably already on the alert. Whether in the case of a traditional muscular response or of a cyber one. Moreover, the defenses of Damascus would not be able to stand against such an opponent. The country has concentrated its resources in this sector, especially on cyber espionage and disturbances, with fake news and infowar campaigns. As a result, they are not trained to handle massive and continuous incidents. Taking all these factors into account, a campaign of this kind would be win-to-win for the United States. Maximum yield, zero collateral damage and risks for the operators.