The risks from America’s restraint in Syria

Last year saw a significant increase in the number of attacks against US forces in Syria, and that trend has already continued into 2022. This month, eight missiles fell on a military base hosting American troops in northeastern Syria, suggesting that there will be no let-up in the targeting of US soldiers.

While no organization has taken credit for the spike, an analysis of the circumstances surrounding the attacks, and the tepid American response, suggests two things.

First, the absence of US casualties indicates that a goal of those launching the strikes is to send messages rather than inflict damage. And second, Washington’s conscious decision not to retaliate is emboldening these actors to use missiles as their primary means of communication. 

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