Donald Trump once called Assad a “stable ruler” and spoke out strongly against military involvement in Syria’s civil war. During the presidential campaign, he said that Hilary Clinton would increase US role in Syria and start WWIII. For several years he advocated against any US action in Syria and as recent as a day ago, Sen. John McCain criticised Trump’s policy of non-intervention calling it "another disgraceful chapter in American history." This was in response to the president's decision to stop prioritising the ending of the Syrian civil war.

The Policy Shift

News reports and graphic images of men women and children killed and suffering as a result of a chemical attack allegedly carried out by Bashar Assad’s regime has led President Trump to change his views on Syria. He had hinted at action against Syria calling the chemical attack “horrible” and a disgrace to humanity. He expressed the view that something should be done even though he didn’t specifically mention what action would be taken.

Strike on Syria

Following two days of deliberations, president Trump chooses military strikes on Syria. He authorised the military to launch some 50 cruise missiles at the Shayrat Air Base in Syria. Speaking from his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida on Thursday night, Trump said that the strike was “vital national security interest” and called on other nations to join the US to stop the bloodshed and slaughter in Syria.

According to a report in the Washington Post, the strikes were in retaliation to the chemical weapon attack in Syria. The Assad regime has denied any involvement in the chemical attack

What to expect after the strikes

The strike on Syria is a unilateral one and it is unknown at this time whether the US has any legal justification for attacking an independent country, But it is sure to cause some rift with Russia and Putin who is a strong supporter of the Assad Regime.

What will Russia do? Trump was strongly against any Syrian intervention and even Syrian refugees are not welcome in Trump’s America. Will this action strain the relationship between Putin and Trump? The strike could also lead to Syrian retaliation on US Targets in Syria.

The latest results of the Strike

Reports from the US military suggest that the missile strikes caused severe damage to Syria's support infrastructure and aircraft. The Syrian State TV has also reported what they described as "American aggression" using a number of missiles to target Syria.