Secretary of State John Kerry promises an "unbelievably small" attack on Syria, but here's the thing: a strike by the U.S. against the Syrian regime could certainly have a ripple effect. For one thing, how will Bashar Assad react vis-a-vis the rebels? Vis-a-vis Syrian civilians? Vis-a-vis Israel? How will Assad's buddies, like Iran and Hezbollah, react?

And how will the rebels react?

The L.A. Times examines this last question:

Edgy residents of the Syrian capital are grappling with a difficult question: What if a U.S. airstrike helps rebels poised on the city's outskirts to storm into the heart of Damascus?


speculation is rampant that U.S. air attacks will try to break down government defenses and enable opposition forces to storm into the streets of the capital

War is difficult.