Yes, says Colonel Richard Kemp, Ex-chairman of the Cabinet Office’s COBRA Intelligence Group
Article published in The Daily Express, 9 April 2017. © Richard Kemp
If the latest chemical attack in Syria is verified, the US should hit back and Britain must play a leading role.
President Trump’s cruise missile strike following a Sarin nerve agent attack one year ago failed to deter Assad which means much stronger action is needed this time.
Russia’s presence makes the risks of escalation greater. Assad is counting on that to deter Western retaliation.
We should not fear Russia but we should avoid hitting their forces on the ground in Syria.
There are even bigger stakes. President Obama’s failure to enforce his red line against Syrian chemical weapons use in 2013 emboldened not only Assad but also Russia.
Putin’s aggression in the Ukraine and his intervention in Syria were the consequences.
This Western weakness led also to a deal with the Iranian ayatollahs, paving their way to nuclear weapons and encouraging Iranian aggression in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen.
With President Trump rightly about to rip up that deal, it is vital that the United States and her allies now show greater strength to deter Iran’s nuclear ambitions and push back against her belligerence across the Middle East.