Moments ago, news broke that US Cruise missiles have struck an airbase in Syria. This is in direct retaliation to the chemical warfare attacks earlier this week by Government forces.
Things are developing as we speak, so I will update and news comes in.
Edit one: My immediate take on this is that Trump is trying to kill two birds with one stone. This week he has threatened both Syria and North Korea with military action for their aggression. For Syria it is the chemical attacks, and for North Korea it is the launching of missiles as “tests.” By unilaterally going after Syria, he is sending a message to North Korea that they need to back down and lay off.
It could work.
The problem is that Syria is such a delicate situation, and sending 50 tomahawks in to destroy the airfield seems like a statement larger than it should be. Turkey, Russia, and Iran are going to respond forcefully for this. This could endanger US and NATO access to Turkish bases and airspace (especially ahead of the referendum Erdoğan so desperately wants.) Russia warned that attacking Syria will have “negative consequences” and who knows what they mean by that. Will it be political? will it be releasing of information? The field is open there. The Trump Administration is bound and determined to show that they are not Russia’s friend in order to convince there isn’t something to the collusion allegations.
Iran will denounce Western Interference. The UN will justify this eventually, and Trump may use this to begin sending ground troops into Syria.
And with that, we have a ground war, were we are sending troops to Syria to fight a civil war in another middle eastern country who doesn’t want us there.
And Mr. Trump is heading the Mar a Lago this weekend, to meet the Chinese President, and likely some steak and golf.
Edit two: CNN is saying that there were Russians at the Airbase that was hit by US forces.
So, there is worth in saying that Mr. Trump said that Syria crossed a red line in using Chemical Weapons, and within 72 hours had carried through on the threat, launching the first Airstrikes from the US against the Syrian Government. The issue now is what happens now. If Syria continues, or worse, relies on Russia to leverage against the US. Then things get sticky. Coupled that with a President with an investigation at home, and we may US military escalation in the region.
If there were Russians at the base, and worse, killed… we will have to see what Russia does.