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Coalition strikes yet to derail the Astana process

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The United States, Britain and France launched strikes against chemical weapons facilities in Syria on April 14 in response to Bashar al-Assad’s alleged chemical attack in the Damascus suburb of Douma, which had been held by rebels for years.

Considering the operation’s limited scope and the coalition forces’ statements, which emphasized that the operation was a one-time strike and not a prelude to regime change, it is doubtful that the operation will deter al-Assad from resorting to chemical weapons in the future if he sees fit.

The coalition’s strikes were more of a political power play than a humanitarian intervention. The underlying political objective was to decrease Iran’s foothold in Syria by exerting pressure on al-Assad’s ally Russia. The emphasis on Russia in the U.S. National Security Strategy of 2017, as well as the growing power of anti-Iran hawks in the wake of U.S. President Donald Trump’s latest appointments, suggests that the U.S.’s pressure will increase on Moscow and Tehran in the near future.

The fact that Russia was deemed responsible for the poisoning of former........

© Hürriyet Daily News