This will be news to you, if you get your "news" from the NYTimes et al. MCM
Arabic press review: Assad preparing for a major US military attack
March 19, 2018
Russian troops have already been deployed to ‘critical locations’ to deter Washington while mysterious Arab country helps Jews immigrate to Israel
Damascus has taken a series of measures to prepare for an anticipated US military strike, Western diplomats told Saudi newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat.
The measures were decided on Saturday during a meeting of the National Security Council, chaired by President Bashar al-Assad, which included military and security leaders.
As part of the government’s preparations, letters were sent to Russia and Iran to request additional protection and Russian army troops have reportedly already been deployed to “critical locations” in order to deter Washington, one diplomat told the paper.
Russian troops may also be sent to protect civilian and military government institutions. It was also reported that the United Nations has moved staff, including diplomats, from particular areas of concern.