On Thursday, the Trump administration decided to fire 59 cruise missiles from U.S. naval vessels in the Mediterranean at the Al-Shayrat airbase, an important Syrian military airbase in central-western Syria. President Trump ordered this strikes as a firm response to the Assad regime’s reported recent use of chemical weapons against civilians in the country’s northwestern Idlib province, an event that seems to have deeply impacted the President. More important than the American strike’s impact on Bashar al-Assad’s military is that the Al-Shayrat base was also host to Russian forces working with Assad’s forces.
Russia’s intervention in the Syrian civil war on behalf of the Assad regime in September 2015 has been the most significant event in the conflict. Not only does Russia provide great power support for Bashar al-Assad, it also forces the United States to engage with Russia on most all matters concerning Syria, including the U.S.-led Coalition’s current campaign against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). In the wake of the strike on the al-Shayrat airbase, the Russians denounced the Trump administration’s decision, threatening to escalate their force presence in support of the Assad regime, and closing the direct “de-confliction channel,” between the U.S and Russian militaries. Assad referred to the U.S. airstrikes as “arrogant aggression,” hinting that his forces would seek to respond to the American attack.
Read the full article at Syria Comment.
More from CNAS
VideoMiddle East security director on the continued violence in Gaza, Israel
President Biden today called for de-escalation of violence in the Middle East. Ilan Goldenberg, Middle East Security Program Director at the Center for a New American Security...
By Ilan Goldenberg & Shepard Smith
CommentaryWhat Would a US-Led Global Technology Alliance Look Like?
In its early weeks, the Biden administration has wisely signaled that it plans to shift U.S. focus away from the Middle East and toward global competition with China. In addit...
By Ilan Goldenberg & Martijn Rasser
CommentarySharper: The Next 100 Days
As the administration marks its 100th day in office, what lies ahead?...
By Anna Pederson & Chris Estep
PodcastReturning To The Iran Nuclear Deal Is Essential For Biden's Foreign Policy Agenda
Ilan Goldenberg speaks with Franco Ordoñez about the importance of returning to the Iran nuclear deal for President Biden's foreign policy agenda. Listen to the full conversa...
By Ilan Goldenberg