“The Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad has dealt a terrible blow with the use of chemical weapons and nerve gases on the civilian population”. With these words, Donald trump began a speech to justify a missile strike on a military air base, which on April 4 was dealt a blow with the use of chemical weapons, which killed 86 people, including 30 children.
“Tonight I have ordered the military strike on a military air base in Syria, which was attacked with chemical weapons,” said trump. It was “an adequate response”, which a few hours before promised the Secretary of state Rex Tillerson on the wave of growth perturbations of the use of chemical weapons in Syria, which the US accuses the government of Bashar al-Assad. Via Syrian military air base was fired 60 cruise missiles from US warships located in the Mediterranean sea.
“In the interests of U.S. national security it is vital to prevent and stop the spread of chemical weapons,” — said the American President in his estate Mar-a-Lago (Mar-a-Lago) in Florida, where he received a Chinese delegation led by XI Jinping. “I think that what happened in Syria is really an egregious crime that should not be committed and which should have been prevented,” said trump in a few hours before on the way to Florida.
This is the first strike against Syria after joining trump in the post and, in fact, the most powerful blow. Prior to that, the order of the trump strikes on Yemen, but not on Syrian government targets. But trump was not limited to striking. The American President appealed to all “civilized Nations” in order “to join us in finding ways to stop the carnage and bloodshed in Syria.”
He went for it, despite Russian warnings. Russian officials have before said that the strike on Syria is in the highest degree unwise. Being one of the main forces on the side of Assad, Russia has officially described the attack as aggression.
What are the consequences can lead to this blow? First of all, the discontent of Russia sent their military to help Assad to fight the rebels. If it turns out that among the victims there are Russians, the conflict may reach unpredictable proportions. In the recent past, Russia’s reaction to the attacks on its military forces was limited to diplomatic framework, for example, a temporary curtailment of relations with Turkey after she hit her plane. Syria is another matter. There are many powers, and the line of demarcation between the dialogue, proportionate military action and large-scale military action can be very shaky.
Trump took the decision and decided not Barack Obama. In 2013, the then occupant of the White house was warned that a red line that must not be crossed by the Assad regime, is the use of chemical weapons. In August 2013, when Syrian government forces used sarin gas (the same that was applied in Khan Sheyhun), Obama did not fulfill his threat and focused all efforts on the targeting of ISIS. To date, a coalition of 68 countries headed by the United States caused more than 19 thousand 500 blows to positions of Islamists.
A missile strike on the Syrian air base is also a political signal, saying that in politics, the administration of the trump changes. Trump said that he gave this order in the framework of the policy of ensuring the “security of Americans”. However, on the very day when he received President XI Jinping that he must demonstrate his power, trump announced his intention to restrain North Korea and ordered the strike on Syria. This is a clear indication that he will do a bid for power in matters of geopolitics and military strategy.
In addition, it means that trump wants to change the balance of power in the Syrian conflict. So far, he was limited to attacks on sites and areas of influence of ISIS and arming the Kurds fought with Islamists. The use of chemical weapons, in which he accuses Syria, appeared to trump the call he must answer. Evidence of this is the statement of U.S. permanent representative to the UN, Nikki Haley (Nikki Haley). As stated by the Secretary of state Rex Tillerson for a few hours before the strike, will have to answer with all “seriousness”.
Such a response may indicate two possible scenarios. First, it’s an open challenge to trump Russia. But it still seems unlikely, given the fact that relations between the two countries until now, was characterized by diplomatic courtesy, which is incompatible with the sudden decision to attack. But the blow was struck not by Russia and Assad. This is the second scenario. Trump wants to show the Syrian President, that he is able to inflict on him a blow. To create thus a precedent. The assault on the airbase, not a blow to the capital (if you take the worst option) specifies that the billionaire wants to make a warning, in some degree, even noble. In fact, as pointed out by many experts, do not apply it a shot, it could be taken as a signal that the use of chemical weapons is allowed that it can be used in the future.
“The big problem that now faces trump and American military presence on the battlefield of Russian troops and air defense systems capable of shooting down US aircraft,” — says the correspondent of The Washington Post Greg Jaffe (Greg Jaffe). Russia may have a more appropriate weapon for waging war in Syria than the United States. The Russian military group is on the airbase near Latakia and at the naval base in Tartus, where planes fly, striking at the positions of militants “Islamic state” (a terrorist organization banned in Russia — approx.ed.). The US can only participate in air operations against ISIL in Syria, their opportunities in this country limited. However, the Assad regime — a difficult enemy. Having influence on the situation on the ground, with air power and the support of Russia, government troops successfully defend their territory, where they were able to regain control of several areas, such as Aleppo, which they had in the beginning of the war in 2011. Bashar al-Assad just does not give up.
A rocket attack on the airbase shirt in the province of HOMS is a result of long failures. Last year, the UN is trying to blame the Syrian government forces in attacks on civilians, in addition to the use of chemical weapons, remembering, for example, as Assad forces used barrel bombs. But Russia has consistently obstructed the introduction of strict economic and political sanctions against the Syrian regime. During the presidency of Barack Obama, the US were rather passive and tended more towards political dialogue, which was conducted in the framework of the UN. At this time, the sworn enemies of Assad, France and Britain tried to decide the fate of his stay in power, but did not achieve almost any results. In this respect, the decision to strike seems to be the last opportunity in this misguided war.
At the same time, trump needs to be careful. Armed conflict in Syria is a minefield. As soon as one area clears, opens a new front. In 2014, after the devastation of the land as a result of fighting with government forces the opposition, the “Islamic state” decided that under his control is about 50% of Syrian territory. As the escalation of the conflict and the accession of new players (the US involvement requires the participation of Britain, France and Canada), Trump will have to make decisions against both sides. On one side there is Syria and its ally, Russia, with another — the “Islamic state”, which the US President called it a serious threat and promised to destroy. Two conflicts at the same time, and that’s without taking into account the intention of China to develop a number of disputed territories in the South China sea, which trump also promised to curb. Too many ambitions simultaneously, to which are added the military failures in Iraq and Afghanistan. Not a very favorable scenario for the President, who had just assumed his duties.