Shayrat missile strike, a historical event

American missiles destroyed the Syrian military al-Shayrat air base on Friday dawn, so what is the significance of this attack? Can we consider it a historical event? Or must we wait until American President Donald Trump’s policy towards the Syrian crisis unfolds? The attack clearly states that America no longer looks at the world through neutral eyes and no longer adopts an isolationist policy. It is back to assuming its international responsibility and the status it is worthy of as the biggest empire we’ve known throughout history and our current time. Restoring this role means reconsidering many international problems across the world.

What’s also significant is that the arena in the Middle East, particularly in Syria and Iraq, is no longer only Russia’s and Iran’s playground. The major player is now back and it is involved in the region’s conflicts.

The issue of terrorism, and specifically ISIS, will no longer be used as a bargaining a chip for deceit and to drive bargains but will be addressed via effective and practical policies. This is in addition to other implications.

Can we consider the strike a historical event? Yes, it is and we can say so before America’s entire policy as regards the Syrian crisis unfolds. America has launched a new phase in the history of the region and the world – a phase during which the US announced it will not keep silent over crimes being committed against humanity in Syria. 

Retreat over 

The strike is a frank announcement that years of American retreat are over. Obama’s eight years which were marked by weakness and wasting opportunities are now over. These eight years during which Obama supported the Iranian regime in several ways – by flagrantly overlooking all of Tehran’s roles in destruction and terrorism – are now over and there is a new vision when it comes to dealing with all the issues that Obama intentionally ignored.

The strike also indicates America’s return to international causes as the greatest power in history. The US is not only the strongest in terms of its military but it is also the most powerful on the political, economic, cultural and technological fronts.
Therefore, this return is definitely a historical event. In this context, however, must we wait to know Trump’s complete vision for a solution in Syria?

During moments of historical change, countries which are more prepared are the ones which win and states which are flexible the most in terms of dealing with this change benefit a lot. Gulf countries know well what the Syrian people want and know well they can help them and stand by them whether when it comes to politics or on the ground. They have never stopped supporting these oppressed people and did not wait until the world changed.

Abdullah bin Bijad Al-Otaibi



The answer is yes because the Syrian crisis is very complicated and the proposed solutions are many and differ according to the different interests of major players in the region and the world. Arab countries and the Syrian people must contribute as much as they can to influence the establishment of this vision and of the proposed political solutions. This influence must also guarantee the interests of Arabs and the Syrian people.

Arab countries are not neutral towards the Syrian crisis. Most of them – particularly Gulf countries – support the rights of the Syrian people and reject the crimes of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and the Iranian regime and the Russian cover.

What’s new today is that America is no longer neutral and it has announced its readiness to practically engage in the Syrian crisis. The question, however, is to what extent will it be involved? How can this be beneficial?

During moments of historical change, countries which are more prepared are the ones which win and states which are flexible the most in terms of dealing with this change benefit a lot. Gulf countries know well what the Syrian people want and know well they can help them and stand by them whether when it comes to politics or on the ground. They have never stopped supporting these oppressed people and did not wait until the world changed.

When it comes to Iran, that rogue country which is the most evil in the region and the world, Gulf countries have confronted it everywhere, diminished its influence, and threats and competently overcame eight years during which their biggest ally, America, was out of the picture. Therefore, they are today poised to making bigger gains and providing qualitative support that alters formulae in this tragic crisis which is unprecedented in the history of the modern world.

This article is also available in Arabic.
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Abdullah bin Bijad al-Otaibi is a Saudi writer and researcher. He is a member of the board of advisors at Al-Mesbar Studies and Research Center. He tweets under @abdullahbjad

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:54 - GMT 06:54
Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.
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