On Thursday night, US President Donald Trump ordered a missile strike on a Syrian airfield in response to the chemical attack north of the country that killed almost 100 people. Hours before the strike, Pres. Trump had summoned Jim Mattis, US Secretary of Defense, to assess what options were on the table. However, what has drawn the attention of some people is the fact that even before the strikes, Hillary Clinton was vocally advocating for the same action. Clinton was quoted saying that she believed and continues to believe that the US should take out Assad’s airfields in order to prevent him from bombing innocent people. Speaking during the Women of the World Summit in New York, the former Secretary of State and Democratic presidential nominee reiterated that the Syrian Air force was to blame for much of the suffering in the country.
Also as if to slightly criticize former US President Barack Obama, Clinton argued that democrats during the past regimes should have done more to confront and contain Assad seeing that this was not the first time the Syrian regime had launched such chemical attacks against civilians. Clinton urged more measures and categorically stated that according to her, the best course of action at the moment would be to establish a no-fly zone in Syria in order to counter the threat posed by Assad’s air force towards his people. The Syrian air force had conducted an airstrike with chemical weapons north of country earlier in the week. The strikes received major global condemnation but Assad, backed by Russia, remained defiant in claiming that no such attack happened.
A statement released by both the Russian forces and the Syrian Army stated that the chemical attack was a result of a normal airstrike that hit a cache of chemical bombs and weapons stashed by rebel fighters in the area. The cruise missile strikes on the Syrian airbase have been viewed as important and very critical at this stage of the Syrian conflict. Both republicans and democrats have been on board with the President regarding the strike with other US allies in the region and other parts of the world supporting the action. However, it is still not clear whether this will be the last strike by the US military on Syria at this time.
The Trump administration has shown a bit of resistance in regards to tackling Assad militarily. Experts argue that the long-term strategy for a peaceful Syria requires additional military action though. In addition to this, a change in regime cannot be achieved without force at the moment. This puts the United States on a direct collision course with Russian forces already in Syria which further complicates things. President Trump told reporters a few hours after the strike that it was in the best interest of the US and national security to ensure that the possibility of a chemical attack in Syria by government forces is prevented and deterred for the future.