Donald Trump put the world on notice this week with a swift and decisive airstrike against Bashar al-Assad’s forces in Syria after a brutal chemical weapon attack against civilians in the beleaguered nation.
Now, when confronted with the possibility of further necessary strikes, the newly minted President was quick to say that he could not rule them out. With Assad’s forces possibly working hand-in-hand with the Russians during the attack, Trump’s rhetoric carries with it the weight of a precarious international situation.
“The US says it has put Bashar al-Assad on notice that it will take further military action if he uses chemical weapons again, while appearing to back away from wider military involvement in the Syrian conflict, less than 24 hours after launching Tomahawk missiles at a regime airbase.
“’The United States will no longer wait for Assad to use chemical weapons without any consequences. Those days are over,’ the US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, told a special session of the UN security council.
“The United States took a very measured step last night, Haley added. ‘We are prepared to do more, but we hope that will not be necessary.’
“However, the White House press secretary, Sean Spicer, refused to discuss any next steps – military or diplomatic – as the world struggled to understand Trump’s policy on the civil war.”
Donald Trump and his administration will now be tasked with the unenviable decision of how next to proceed in the face of an increasingly aggressive Russian attitude in the wake of these first airstrikes, for which the Russians claim they were only given 90 minutes warning.
Furthermore, Russia is continuing to insist that Trump’s strike was against a sovereign nation – a massive violation of international law.