In response to Syrian President Assad’s use of chemical weapons against his own people, the three allies coordinate air strikes using stand-off missiles. In April 2017, the Trump administration going alone, punished the Assad regime for a similar use of chemical weapons. Complicating this attack is the presence of Russian and Iranian fighters on the ground fighting for Assad. Apparent US-Russian communications took place prior to the attack to move Russian troops and equipment out of harms way. This ‘proportional’ attack, not one that targeted Assad’s more precious regime facilities, combined with the Obama administration’s remarks in April 2016 that the US would not “send in ground troops nor seek to change the [Assad] regime,” confirm a continuation of American policy that Assad is not being driven from office by foreign force. At this point in the seven year Syrian civil war, Russia remains a key player in determining Syria’s future. In that timeframe to date, neither Arab states in the region, nor the US and its allies across the world have done very much to curtail Assad’s brutality against his own people.
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