On Donald Trump’s orders, US forces have struck the airfield from which the Syrian military launched Tuesday’s chemical weapons attack. The strikes were limited, only 59 Tomahawk missiles were involved, and the US says that ‘every precaution was taken to execute this strike with minimal risk to personnel at the airfield’.
So, what was Trump up to? Well, it was clear that he wanted to send a message that the use of chemical weapons is unacceptable and will have consequences. He was, ironically, enforcing the red line that the Obama administration drew and then refused to enforce. But he was trying to do so in a way that does not drag the US further into the conflict or risk World War Three; note that the Russians were warned about the strikes before they happened so that their forces didn’t get caught up in them.
Fraser Nelson discusses Trump’s Syrian intervention with James Forsyth and Freddy Gray on Coffee House Shots:
The UK government has backed the Trump administration’s stance, and rightly so. If Assad can use chemical weapons without consequence, the war in Syria will become even more horrific. This US strike is a lesson to Assad that their use will bring a military response from the West. It will make the regime think twice about using them in future.