Study Material | Test Series
Drishti IAS
call1800-121-6260 / 011-47532596
Drishti The Vision Foundation
(A unit of VDK Eduventures Pvt. Ltd.)
Q. US missile attack on Syria and its impact: In the backdrop of US missile attack on Syria, comment on the issue.
Apr 12, 2017 Related to : GS Paper-2

Ans :


After civilians in the rebel-held Idlib province of Syria were hit with chemical weapons causing the deaths of at least 80 people, the USA has launched the missile attack on a Syrian Airbase. The missile attack by US marks a departure in US policy towards the war-ravaged country. 

USA’s earlier policy-

  • The previous American government repeatedly opined that Syrian regime headed by President Bashar al-Assad should go, but it resisted calls for military action in this regard, primarily for two reasons.
  • One, it wanted the USA to stay focussed on the campaign against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, and was wary of dragging the USA into a direct confrontation with Russia, which is backing the regime.

Impact and analysis-

  • On the face of it, the missile attack by USA appears to be a bold move intended to take Mr. Assad to task for his actions, but in truth, the current administration has risked escalating the Syrian crisis to far more dangerous levels.
  • Now the current administration will face the question of what it really achieved from the missile strike. Did it establish any deterrence in Syria or will it help in the long run to mitigate the suffering of the Syrians or bring the civil war to an end. The answer appears in negative. 
  • Similarly the recent missile attack raises questions about its legality, as the UN Charter clearly states that any attack on another country needs Security Council approval unless it is an act in self-defence. Many blamed for US for violation of international charter. 
  • In this background, the US administration have waited for the UN to complete its probe into the chemical attack in Syria before initiating military action, while simultaneously working to build a consensus on Syria at the UN Security Council.
  • The last six years of the deadly civil war in Syria offer a concrete lesson, that there are no quick fixes to this crisis that has political, sectarian and geopolitical dimensions.
  • Hence the international community have to put more pressure on Syrian regime, and offer support to the peace process backed by Russia and Turkey, so that peace process can be initiated in deadly war hit country.


Since last six years Syria has witnessed deadly civil war, in which it lost millions of its civilians. The recent chemical attack and later missile attack by USA have further escalated the war situation in Syria. USA being responsible nation should have acted more wisely instead of launching missile attacks. Now it’s time for international community to initiated peace process, so that long civilian war may end soon.

Helpline Number : 87501 87501
To Subscribe Newsletter and Get Updates.