US Missile Attack Against Syria


Tomahawk missile launched from a US warship from the Mediterranean Sea.

Isaac Ross, Staff Writer

On 4/6, the U.S. military carried out a planned attack against a Syrian airbase consisting of 59 Tomahawk Missiles. All of the missiles were aimed at the target airbase, and according to the Department of Defense, 58 of the 59 “degraded or destroyed” their target. Washington’s given reason for the missile attack is the apparent chemical weapon attack against Syrian civilians earlier in the week. The chemical attack, which has been denied by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, killed at least 70 people, including 10 children. The strong response from the United States government over the chemical weapons came because all chemical weapons have been illegal, according widely respected international law, since 1928. In addition, a United Nations (UN) Security Council resolution for an official UN response was blocked by Syrian ally Russia, so the UN did not take action against the chemical attack.

President Trump has garnered criticism over a wide range of political and ethical implications regarding the attack. Primarily, Syria is Russia’s ally, and because of this, direct action against President Bashar al-Assad has been avoided. In response, Russia has called the missile strike “an act of aggression,” which is a concerning stance given ever-high tensions between the United States and Russia. Though Congress has generally supported the missile strike, lawmakers have warned Trump of overstepping his position as Commander in Chief, and to avoid starting a war, particularly because Congress voted against military action in Syria in 2013. Additionally, some criticism has been voiced about the cost of the attack, which was about $60 million; though the attack was mostly political, critics have been quick to compare the cost of the military action against the recent social service funding cuts made by the Trump White House.

As of now, no further military action against Syria has been planned, as the attack carried out on 4/6 was purely in response to the alleged chemical attack. Regardless, it is likely Congressional approval would be needed to authorize further military combat, as further military resources are necessary to continue a campaign and American intervention has implication in the U.S. and Russia’s relationship.