News / USA

US Strike on Syria May Have Unintended Consequences

US Strike on Syria May Have Unintended Consequencesi
X
September 07, 2013 3:17 AM
A U.S. attack against Syria could have unintended consequences and may not deter Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, some Middle East analysts say. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports from Washington.

US Strike on Syria May Have Unintended Consequences

Meredith Buel
A U.S. attack against Syria could have unintended consequences and may not deter Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, some Middle East analysts say.

The cruise missiles are ready. The targets are being identified.

President Barack Obama is making the case for a U.S. attack.

“It is limited. It does not involve boots on the ground. This is not Iraq and this is not Afghanistan,” said Obama.

But analysts say Syria's military can withstand a limited strike. Some analysts are concerned that anything short of a robust attack may not deter Damascus.

Syrian analyst Elizabeth O’Bagy said, "If there is not an adequate response to the use of chemical weapons, it is very likely that he will continue to use them.”

Obama's decision to seek Congressional approval has delayed any attack, reportedly allowing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to move troops and military equipment to civilian areas.

U.S. military assets that could be used in an operation in Syria.U.S. military assets that could be used in an operation in Syria.
x
U.S. military assets that could be used in an operation in Syria.
U.S. military assets that could be used in an operation in Syria.
Former CIA officer and Middle East specialist Reuel Marc Gerecht said, “I would imagine that the Syrians, since they have had so much time, have taken their materiel [the French term for military equipment] and put it in places that are not easily hit by a cruise missile. It would require fighter bombers to do that.”

And U.S. warplanes may be in the mix. An aircraft carrier is now within striking distance of Damascus.

Syrian opposition groups are concerned limited strikes will not tip the balance on the battlefield.  

Khaled Saleh of the Syrian National Coalition wants regime change.

“It is time to move the power from the family, the mafia that controlled Syria for the last 40 years. Now it is time to move that power into the hands of the Syrian people,” said Saleh.

With Western warnings about its controversial nuclear program, Iran, too, is watching.

“If we do not do something in Syria, I think the odds of the Iranians taking us seriously are zero,” said Gerecht.

Polls show many war-weary Americans are opposed to involvement in Syria’s civil war.

The president also has an uphill battle convincing Congress.

Senior analyst Michael O’Hanlon is more optimistic. “In the end, I don’t believe the administration is going to get a lot of flak from the American public, from the Congress, or from the allies. On the other hand, if they miscalculate or something goes wrong, all bets are off.”

On Tuesday night Obama will address the American people, while the war in Syria grinds on.

  • This citizen journalism image provided by Edlib News Network shows anti-Syrian regime protesters hold a poster depicting U.S. President Barack Obama during a demonstration in Kafr Nabil, Idlib province, Sept. 20, 2013.
  • Children sit along a damaged street filled with debris in the besieged area of Homs, Sept. 19, 2013.
  • Debris is seen on the ground after what activists said was shelling by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in the al-Myassar neighborhood of Aleppo, Sept. 19, 2013.
  • An injured man walks along a street after what activists said was shelling by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in the al-Myassar neighborhood of Aleppo, Sept. 19, 2013.
  • This citizen journalism image provided by The Syrian Revolution against Bashar Assad shows a Syrian military tank on fire during clashes with Free Syrian army fighters in Joubar, a suburb of Damascus, Sept. 18, 2013.
  • A member of the Shohadaa Badr Brigade, which operates under the Free Syrian Army, stands in shooting position behind sandbags in Ashrafieh, Aleppo, September 17, 2013.
  • Free Syrian Army fighters walk through rubble inside the old city of Aleppo, Sept. 16, 2013.
  • A Free Syrian Army fighter carries his weapon as he stands on rubble of damaged buildings in al-Aseela neighborhood near Aleppo's historic citadel, Sept. 13, 2013.
  • In this citizen journalism image provided by the United media office of Arbeen, a Syrian protester chants slogans during a demonstration in Arbeen, a suburb of Damascus, Sept. 13, 2013.

You May Like

Polls Open in Scotland Independence Vote

As race to persuade undecided voters continues, 'No' voters say they believe life in Scotland will slowly improve, 'Yes' vote not worth the risk More

South Africa’s 'Open Mosque' Admits Everyone, Including Critics

Open Mosque founder plans to welcome gay worshipers and allow women to lead prayers More

Ukrainian Activist in Despair About Future of Her Country

IrIna Dovgan, accused of being a spy and tortured by pro-Russian separatists, is appealing to UN Human Rights Council to support her country More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Syed Azmathullah Khaderi from: India
September 07, 2013 12:13 PM
What is the difference between the tolerated endless drone killings of Obama and a suspected one-time chemical attack by Assad. Assad appears more sociable in comparison.


by: grasspress from: east bay ca
September 07, 2013 10:05 AM
'Syrian analyst Elizabeth O’Bagy said, "If there is not an adequate response to the use of chemical weapons, it is very likely that he will continue to use them.”'

and if there is no response he will continue to use them.

In Response

by: Joshua Flynn from: UK
September 07, 2013 5:52 PM
"and if there is no response he will continue to use them."

You're assuming he even used them in the first place. The previous sarin gas attack turned out to be the Syrian rebels, and the basis for accusation in this case is a youtube video but no solid evidence - please be aware the Syrian rebels have access to sarin gas (ironically also evidenced in youtube videos).

But sure, whatever. Believe the 'rar rar' rhetoric which tries to rush ahead of any form of analysis by the UN (who are skeptical of the claims from the west given the west were wrong about it being Assad the last time).


by: Markt
September 07, 2013 7:27 AM
just watched that short video above, and it makes my heart ache in sorrow. For every action, there is an equal reaction. Every shot fired, every rocket used, there is a target that is getting hit, a person getting killed. And we want to add to that misery and death? I have seen the effects of battle, as a former Marine, it is not something I would wish to see again, or even know of it happening again. Anyone who has ever fired a weapon in anger in a combat role would never want to do so again. It saddens me beyond belief just to know this is happening.
And this President wants to heap more suffering on a people already suffering and dying....
Enough already, please stop this nonsense...my heart cannot endure any more of it.

In Response

by: Mo Lang Cho from: Hanoi- Viet Nam
September 07, 2013 10:15 AM
Send to Markt
Nobody likes the war but how to avoid it?
Yes, if the war happens there are people die. But there are still people die in peace, are'nt they?
I am a vietnamese so that I understand the cost of the war. The war is far away about 30 years, but living in peace without freedom, how does the peace cost? what the mean is?
In my opion, the crisis or problem can not solve by the talk so it can only solve by the war to end the problem. Do you know there are alot of people always likely to die for freedom? Because of your opinion the freedom that is the best worth.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Wateri
X
September 17, 2014 8:44 PM
Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid