According to Mail on Sunday, a Project Alligator 117-class Russian ship has been seen making its way to Syria at Bosphorus, Turkey. This warship was laden with ambulances, tanks, and IED radar equipment, while a RoRo Alexandr Tkachenco appeared to be carrying a temporary bridge, trucks, and high-speed patrol boats. It remains to be seen whether these ships are part of Vladimir Putin's promised "consequences" for the airstrikes. The images were posted on social media by the naval observer, Yörük Işık.

The ships arrived following Friday's airstrikes carried out by the US, UK, and France.

The airstrikes set out to target three different Syrian sites that the allies believed to be crucial to al-Assad's chemical weapons manufacture. Seeking to send a clear signal against the use of chemical weapons, France, the US, and the UK responded with force responding to the chemical attack in which nearly 80 people are said to have died the previous weekend. Over 100 missiles were fired in what the allies called "a perfectly executed strike."

The aftermath of the airstrikes

According to media sources, including the Mail Online, the allies aimed to exclusively hit chemical weapons facilities in Syria, minimizing the risk of casualties and civilian injuries.

The Independent reported that James Matt, US defense secretary, said that the airstrikes were a "once-off" operation rather than one, targeting the Syrian leadership. After bitter exchanges, observers consider the airstrikes to be a measured response to the suspected chemical attacks. The allies wanted to avoid Russian and Iranian casualties, the Independent reported this weekend.

Images of the aftermath of the airstrikes showed decimated, still smoldering sites.

Speaking to a CBS reporter, one scientist who worked at the facility denied that chemical weapons were being developed there. Instead, he explained that he had spent thirty years carrying out important research at the plant. Following the airstrikes, al-Assad supporters defiantly took to the streets in protest against the allies' actions.

State TV released footage of a calm Bashar al-Assad walking through opulent government buildings.

How will Russia respond to the airstrikes?

According to the Mail Online, Vladimir Putin condemned the airstrikes Friday, stating that they would worsen the plight of the civilian population. He also denounced them as an "act of aggression." In addition, Putin said that the strikes would have "a destructive influence on the entire system of international relations." Voices from across the Russian establishment are said to have reacted angrily to the airstrikes, calling them "unacceptable and lawless," so the Guardian reports. Russia's ambassador to the US warned that there would be "consequences." According to the Mail Online, confusion arose over the weekend as to how much warning Russia received from America and France.

However, Presiden Macron is believed to have spoken to Vladimir Putin hours before the strikes. Last week, Russia had made it clear that it would defend its troops if threatened. The arrival of the tank-laden ships at Bosphorus may form part of Russia's response. In Britain, experts are on high alert over a possible Russian cyber attack. Speaking to the Mail Online, Boris Johnson, the foreign secretary, vowed to take "every possible precaution." Software belonging to banks, airports, healthcare facilities, and gas networks could fall victim to hackers. It remains to be seen what the Russian regime's "consequences," for the airstrikes, will be.