Expert Russia will feel pretty relieved
Russia may be relieved that the allied air strikes didn’t go further, a defence expert claimed yesterday.
Dr Jonathan Eyal, international director at security think-tank the Royal United Services Institute, said: “If this is a one-off air-strike campaign, it may be that we’re not going to see Western aircraft return to targets in Syria any time soon.
“The assumption is it may end there for now – and the Russians may actually feel quite relieved that it wasn’t worse.
“The key question now is if both sides want to de-escalate the situation. The Russian response has so far been muted. Clearly they’d want to see the end of an escalation in matters.”
Eyal added: “What is clear is that there was a very conscious decision to avoid any escalation and that the targets which have been chosen are not anywhere near Russian bases.”
But he warned things could change if the Syrian president ignores the warning and continues to use chemical weapons.
Eyal said: “If there is any suggestion of a continuation, or if the Assad regime try to defy us by using chemical weapons in another location, then I think all bets are off.”