April 12, 2018

AP News Guide: Potential for escalation in Syria abounds

Featuring Nicholas Heras

Source: The Associated Press

Journalist Bassem Mroue

BEIRUT — With the Middle East on edge and many fearing inadvertent triggering of a regional war, it’s easy to forget that not so long ago President Donald Trump shocked advisers by declaring his intention to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria and “let others take care of it now.”

Now, Trump is threatening imminent military strikes against the Syrian government forces he blames for a suspected chemical gas attack and rattling a saber at Syria’s patron, Russia. Missiles “will be coming, nice and new and ‘smart,’” Trump warned in a tweet.

The suspected chemical weapons attack on a rebel-held town near Damascus killed more than 40 people over the weekend, many of them said to have suffocated in underground shelters from a chlorine-like substance. The attack was quickly and widely blamed on President Bashar Assad’s forces, provoking calls from Western nations for swift retribution. But Assad and his backers in Russia have denied it.

Read the full article at The Associated Press via The Washington Post

  • Nicholas Heras

    Fellow, Middle East Security Program

    Nicholas A. Heras is a Fellow at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), working in the Middle East Security Program. He is also a Senior Analyst at the Jamestown Found...