The limited missile strike by the US and its allies did little to improve the situation in Syria, believes Fawaz Gerges of Asia Times. Peace must be sought through diplomacy, not with more bombs. President Trump has a limited strategy that centers around stopping ISIS but not rebuilding the country. His plan to leave gives Assad and his allies more power. Trump is spreading the belief that America no longer wants to be a hands-on leader in the world. His abandonment of the Kurds, who were promised American support, stands out. To survive, they will need to side with Assad. This benefits Russia and Iran and opens the door to more bloodshed.
The US-led missile strike in Syria sent the right message, argues James S. Robbins of USA Today. It showed that the West will no longer tolerate Assad’s use of chemical weapons. It was also a more sophisticated attack than last time, hitting weapons stockpiles, research facilities and command posts. Missiles reached close to Damascus, signaling that every location is a potential target. The message is that the use of chemical weapons will no longer be tolerated or more attacks will follow. Assad and his allies will be more careful with their use of them from now on. A full-out war is not the answer, but the smart missile strike achieved its purpose.