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Trump Carried Out Strike on Syrian Army Airbase 'to Gain Domestic Support'

© Sputnik / Mikhail Voskresenskiy / Go to the photo bankThe aftermath of a US missile strike at the Shayrat military field in Syria
The aftermath of a US missile strike at the Shayrat military field in Syria - Sputnik International
The US missile strike against the Syrian army's Sha'irat airbase, following unproven allegations of a chemical weapons attack in Idlib, was illegal under international law, retired Lebanese Major General Hisham Jaber told Radio Sputnik.

The US airstrike on the Syrian army on Thursday was a violation of international law, carried out without the backing of the UN Security Council or the US Congress, retired Lebanese Major General Hisham Jaber told Radio Sputnik.

"This strike was done for domestic reasons above all. Nobody can deny that Mr. Trump is facing domestic problems in America. He took advantage of those horrible videos and photos of civilians supposed to have been killed by chemical weapons to gain some support and he took that quick decision," Jaber said.

The attack is the first time the US military has openly targeted Syrian government forces.

"I think this strike is a breakthrough because for five years, the American air force didn't strike the Syrian army on purpose. Of course, the American air force did strike the Syrian army several times, but they pretended to do it mistake, like they did last September in Deir ez-Zor. Instead of killing ISIS, they killed 85 soldiers and officers of the Syrian army in Deir ez-Zor."

The Pantsir-S1 short-to-medium range gun-missile system at Russian Airbase in Syria - Sputnik International
Without Pantsir, Buk and Tor, S-400s Alone Not Enough to Cover Syria's Skies
While some US allies such as Israel and Saudi Arabia hope that Washington carries out more airstrikes against the Syrian government, Jaber thinks the US will limit itself to this attack.

"I think this strike was narrow, quick and limited. Some other countries, who are against the Syrian government, believe that this is the beginning of war, a large military intervention against Syria. I don't think so, I don't think the American air force will strike the Syrian army again."

"I don't think this strike will have a dramatic effect on the Syrian army. As President Assad said, 'our response to this strike is to continue to fight terrorism in Syria' and I think this statement was very respected by everyone."

Adam Wielomski, deputy editor of the Polish news portal, told Sputnik Polska that the significance of Thursday's strike will depend on whether the US tries to follow it up with more attacks on the Syrian army.

"Everything depends on whether the US attack in Syria will be a one-off, a kind of US response to this confusion about the use of chemical weapons, or it is the beginning of a wider American-Syrian confrontation. Or it is a new round of the Cold War, which has been practically going on between East and West in recent years," Wielomski said.

© SputnikUS Missile Attack on the Syria's Sha'irat Airbase
US Missile Attack on the Syria's Sha'irat Airbase - Sputnik International
US Missile Attack on the Syria's Sha'irat Airbase
"Countries like Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan come to mind. But we don't know if this will be a single action or a re-orientation of President Trump's policy, a return to the politics that American neoconservatives have carried out in recent years."

"Looking at the various reshuffles in Donald Trump's circle, you can conclude there is a serious struggle between two directions which are strikingly different in their approaches to foreign policy in general and in their vision of international relations. What happened is the victory of one wing, let's conditionally call it the neocons, and their views on international relations."

"Again, I think we'll soon see whether this is a one-off event, or whether this policy will continue due to changes in the president's circle and there will be a return to the policies of Barack Obama and previous US presidents," Wielomski said. 

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