Germany refuses to be part of Trump’s ‘one night’ stand - 10 takeaways from Syria airstrike

Even as the UK and France joined the United States in carrying out coordinated air strikes on Damascus, described as a ‘one night operation’ by US Defence Secretary, Germany refused to be a part of it

Photo courtesy: PTI
Photo courtesy: PTI

NH Web Desk

Ten days after a suspected chemical attack on a rebel-held town in Syria, racked by civil war, killed a hundred people and suffocated many more, the United States, United Kingdom and France carried out coordinated air strikes on Damascus early this morning. Here are 10 take aways to understand why.

  1. US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis has gone on record to say that the strike was designed as a ‘one night operation’ to punish the Syrian Government suspected of using the chemical weapons, a charge Damascus had denied.
  2. While the US had aligned with the rebels against the Syrian Government in the seven-year old civil war, President Trump and the British Prime Minister have denied that ‘regime change’ is the aim.
  3. The strike comes days after the visit of the Saudi crown prince Md bin Salman to the United States and UK. In the complex civil war, Saudis, Turkey and Israel have been helping the rebels while Iran and Russia have stood with President Assad of Syria.
  4. Last year in April too the United States had rained missiles on Damascus and there is acknowledgment of US troops in Syria.
  5. The Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff General James F. Dunford Jr has clarified that the targets this morning were carefully chosen to minimize the risk of accidentally hitting Russian troops stationed in Syria.
  6. Syrian State TV has reported Syrian air defence system shooting down 13 US missiles near Al-Kiswa, a town to the South of Damascus.
  7. US Democrats have assailed the strike and some of them say the strike, seen as a diversionary move by President Trump to take attention away from growing revelations of his misdemeanor, was illegal in the absence of any sanction by the US Congress.
  8. Tulsi Gabbard, Democrat member of the House of Representatives, was quoted as saying: “Launching an attack on Syria that would weaken the Syrian military will strengthen terrorist groups like ISIS, Al-Qaeda and others who are all seeking to overthrow the gov’t and establish their own caliphate. Now does that serve the interests of the United States?”
  9. Russia has blamed the West for the ‘staged chemical attack’ in Syria and warned of the US misadventure escalating into war.
  10. More than half a million people are estimated to have been killed in the civil war so far and millions of Syrians displaced.

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