The US Strike in Syria: Positive or Negative Impact?

By Scott Morgan

The Airstrikes launched by the United States against Militia units that support the Government of Bashir Assad on Feb 8, 2018 present a tantalizing opportunity for analysts around the world to guess what the motives of the Trump Administration are.

Some of those include:

Line of Demarcation

The Kurdish-led SDF (Syrian Democratic Forces) have been able to drive the Islamic State fighters from the city of Raqqa. During this campaign there was an unofficial line of Demarcation along the banks of the Euphrates River. It is clear that the Trump Administration is more keen to honor the pledges made to its allies than the previous Administration. Which segways into the second point.

Protecting Allies

One of the major concerns among the Kurds has been to what level will the United States go to defend their interests. The slow response during the early days of the ISIS offensive in 2014 validates this concern. The lack of a response during the Turkish incursion into the Afrin region most likely made these concerns more acute yet again. However, there are also US Special Forces in a city to the east of Afrin. Their deployment may determine how seriously the US views this crisis.

Another thought could be that this strike was a signal to the Turks too. We have heard complaints from Ankara that the YPG and the SDF have provided high quality weapons to the PKK to launch attacks in Turkey. Could this be a message from Washington to Ankara that this area is a no-go as well?

Not the Endgame

From a strategic view, the Forces of President Assad have the momentum. They assume that this is now the time to consolidate their holdings for the next round of Peace Talks. In any conflict this concept is to be expected as the combatants seek to improve their situation on the ground before the diplomats begin their role in the drama unfolding.

What is obvious to some is that the Turkish incursion into the Afrin region may have compelled the Government to reassert itself into a region where their presence has not been seen or felt in three years at minimum. The damage to the infrastructure of Syria has been devastating during the seven years of war that has already taken place.

The intervention by Russia and Iran and the threats of Iraqi Shia Militias to intervene in the conflict have advanced it to the stage where an endgame can be visible. That being said, it will be a Political end to this conflict that may actually restore peace, not a Military victory.

Keeping the Conflict from Spreading

On Feb the 10th, we saw evidence yet again that this concern could in fact become reality. An Iranian UAV launched from Syria flew over Israeli Airspace. In return, the Israelis launched an Airstrike against Iranian Positions with the loss of a single fighter. It is too early to determine whether or not this will escalate.

The situation in Syria has had an impact on the Political Impasse that currently plagues Lebanon. This could be the next flashpoint in the tension racked region known as the Middle East. Any internal issue could explode into a new Lebanese Civil War.

The US Airstrikes have affected the timeline in the Syrian Conflict. Now, if the impact is for the Negative or for the Positive it's yet to be determined.

(Image: US Airstrike in Syria - Google Images)

[The views expressed in this publication are solely those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of Dissecting Society. © 2007-2018 Author(s) ALL RIGHTS RESERVED]


  1. Hi Morgan,

    I'd say that at this point, we don't really know what will put an end to this civil war in Syria. The Military option has helped but has changed little, the Political option so far has done even less, so I don't know. The only thing I know is that the Syrian people deserve to go back home and that NOW is the time for Assad to go.


  2. I agree that al Assad can go now. And I think the Americans are thinking the same thing that explains the strike. I think it will have a positive impact in the long run.

  3. Is Trump working toward kicking Assad out? Is the Jihadi problem gone?


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