Assessment of the US military attack on Syria
By Chérif AMIR
April 7th, 2017
On the dawn of April 7th, 2017, the Commander in Chief of the United States military, President Donald Trump, gave the orders to his forces to launch 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles targeting the Shayrat Syrian military airfield near the city of Homs.
I have to offer you two kinds of assessments, material and geopolitical or diplomatic:
The first assessment: The material consequence of the attack:
Oddly enough, the attack didn’t inflict much damage to the airfield, except five fatalities among the Syrian army and the destruction of a couple of old Mig fighter jets.
Another amazing result is that the most strategic target in the airfield which is the runway, suffered only minor damage and is almost intact, this is something unusual with the well-known US precise and merciless attacks during warfare. Take for example the savage bombing of the Serbian Capital Belgrade in 1999, or the indiscriminate bombardment of the Iraqi Capital Baghdad in 2003 during the “Shock & Awe” operations.
The second assessment: The geopolitical or diplomatic consequence of the attack:
To begin with, not a single bullet, shell nor missile could be fired on the Syrian land, sea or airspace without a prior consent from the strong man of Syria, the Russian President Vladimir Putin*. He’s the man in control and every military strategist in the United States knows it well.
The US President Donald Trump, used to criticize the failed Obama administration’s strategy in fighting terrorism and especially the Islamic State in Mosul, Iraq. During his candidacy, Trump repeated several times that it was a huge mistake to announce to your enemy your intention to attack him and your intention to take action which lead to the change of tactics and positions on the ground of the terrorist group. He even asserted that all the military experts would always advise the “surprise” action. Nevertheless, Trump spent 3 days before carrying the attack on the strategically insignificant Syrian airfield announcing to the media his reverse of policy towards President Bashar Al- Assad and his intention to take a military action against his forces. Now, according to Russian sources the airfield was evacuated hours before the attack because the word spread that the US would attack in the hours to come near the Homs region.