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

Video Indiana Controversy Points to Divergent Notions of Religious Freedom

Gay-marriage opponents are looking for ways to maintain their beliefs in face of changing culture, one writer says More

UNICEF Denies North Korean Measles Outbreak

Agency dismisses Russian media report after government, WHO assurances More

Turkey Seen Taking Harder Stance Against Militant Kurds

Stance comes as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is being seen as moving closer to generals 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.
Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedomi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 01, 2015 1:41 AM
Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Nigerians Welcome Buhari's Return to Power

Crowds of jubilant Nigerians nationwide have celebrated the return to power of former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari. The retired army general won this year's presidential election with more than 2 million votes more than incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan. Buhari's supporters hope he can strengthen the country's economy and security once he takes office in late May. Zlatica Hoke has this story.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Gamma Ray Observatory to Open Soon in Mexico

American and Mexican scientists have completed construction of the world's largest gamma ray observatory, situated high in central Mexico’s Sierra Negra Mountain. The observatory's huge array of water-based detectors will soon start discovering secrets about black holes and supernovas. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More