Syria will see US price for chemical attack as worth paying

April 9, 2018 | By | Reply More

Donald Trump’s Twitter warning that a big, albeit unspecified, price will be paid for Bashar al-Assad’s alleged use of chemical weapons on innocent civilians in Douma points to some form of punitive military strike being launched by western forces.

yria will see US price for chemical attack as worth payingThe tweet is all the more remarkable for containing some of Trump’s first direct criticism of Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, and his role in protecting Assad.

But it leaves open the question of whether the US president will opt for a discrete punishment or a more ambitious and co-ordinated attempt both to wipe out Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile and end Assad’s impunity.

The advantage of a single retaliatory punishment, such as an attack on Dumayr, where the Syrian Mi-8 helicopters are based, is simplicity. That would suit the instincts of a president who only last week said he intended to take all remaining US troops out of Syria.

But there are powerful forces urging a broader sustained programme of action, including France, Israel and the UK, as well as some in the Pentagon. With a new secretary of state and national security adviser appointed, and now apparently a chemical weapons outrage, UK officials hope a window has opened up to persuade Trump to rethink a premature plan to withdraw US troops, one of the few negotiating levers the west still has in Syria.

The same sources also point out isolated acts of punishment have been shown not to work.

On 7 April last year Trump authorised the use of 59 US Tomahawk cruise missiles to hit Syria’s Sharyat airbase in Homs, after planes from the base were adjudged to be responsible for a deadly sarin attack on Khan Sheikhun three days earlier. Khan Sheikhun was the largest chemical weapon attack since the Syrian government signed up to the Chemical Weapons Convention in October 2013.

Press journalist for HRO media – Khizer Hayat reports.

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Category: Arab uprising

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