The West Rebukes Russia in Syria

Western powers made clear that they would hold Russia partly responsible for Assad’s actions.

|April 15, 2018

By Jacob L. Shapiro

Late last week, the U.S., U.K. and France launched coordinated missile strikes on select regime targets in Syria. It was the second time the Trump administration had ordered strikes on the Assad regime, and only two things distinguish last week’s strikes from the ones that were carried out a year ago: Twice as many missiles were fired in the most recent attack, and the U.K. and France participated. But the strikes will not change the Syrian war. They were driven mainly by domestic politics in the three countries involved, which have emphasized both that regime change is not their goal and that Russia is partly responsible for Bashar Assad’s actions.

Four Powers

There are now four global powers intervening in Syria: Russia, the U.S., the U.K. and France. Russia ventured south to distract from problems at home. The U.S., which intervened initially to try to destroy the Islamic State, has struck Assad twice, mainly because President Donald Trump does n

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