The United States could be headed to war with Syria, with experts warning that Thursday’s airstrikes could lead to a full-scale conflict in the troubled Middle Eastern nation.
Late on Thursday — the early morning hours on Friday in Syria — the United States launched a missile strike in response to Syria’s chemical weapons attack this week that left more than 80 of the country’s civilians dead.
Donald Trump had already hinted about a Syrian war ahead, with sharp rhetoric against President Assad in the wake of the chemical weapon attack.
“I think what Assad did is terrible. I think what happened in Syria is one of the truly egregious crimes. It shouldn’t have happened. It shouldn’t be allowed to happen,” Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One, according to CNN. “I think what happened in Syria is a disgrace to humanity. He’s there, and I guess he’s running things, so something should happen.”
As CNN noted, the United States appeared ready to wade into a full-scale Syrian War if necessary.
“If the decision is made to strike, the U.S. military has warships and aircraft in the area ready to go.
‘Two U.S. Navy warships armed with tomahawk cruise missiles — the USS Ross and the USS Porter — are stationed in the Mediterranean.
“The U.S. could also fly stealth aircraft B-2 bombers with relative safety to strike targets.”
Some political analysts have already been warning that Donald Trump is teetering toward war not only in Syria, but across the Middle East, escalating America’s involvement in the conflicts there. In an analysis published this week in Politico, Colin H. Kahl wrote that Trump’s approach is set to lead to new conflicts across the troubled region.
“In charting a new course to combat terrorism across the greater Middle East, Trump has both embraced and rejected elements of the George W. Bush and Barack Obama approaches — but he has done so in an almost perfectly dysfunctional way,” Kahl wrote. “He has escalated U.S. military actions, while remaining diplomatically aloof from festering conflicts and de-emphasizing non-military instruments of American power. The result, so far, is a kind of bizarro-Goldilocks approach: not hot enough, not cold enough — just wrong. Left uncorrected, the emerging Trump doctrine will result in more war, but few sustainable gains against terrorism emanating from the world’s most dangerous region.”
There have been other indications that the United States could be headed to war with Syria. In the hours before the attack, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson noted that steps were underway to remove Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, though he didn’t specify what those steps would be or how much the United States might be involved.
Rex Tillerson says "steps are underway" to remove Syrian President Bashar al-Assad from power https://t.co/HzlO21Ma9s— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) April 6, 2017
There are already a growing number of voices calling for the United States not to go to war with Syria, from activists to politicians to regular Americans on social media.
We just went to war in Syria, but we won't call it that. Someone should sue the U.S. to call it's wars war.— Summer Brennan (@summerbrennan) April 7, 2017
Donald Trump has not said yet if the United States could be headed to a larger war with Syria. One military official told the New York Times that the missile attack was more about sending a message to Assad, but added that the United States could use more military force if chemical weapons attacks continue.
[Featured Image by Anderson W. Branch/U.S. Navy via Getty Images]