“Moscow typically denies involvement in such mass casualty attacks, and has previously falsified video footage in an attempt to exonerate its warplanes. Russia also blamed the 2013 sarin attack on rebels attempting to provoke international intervention. The attack comes amid an upswing in Syrian government strikes against Idlib province, where hundreds of thousands of civilians have fled to from other battle zones around the country,” Louisa Loveluck writes for the Washington Post.
“If you assembled all of the Obama administration’s critics in one room, they would not agree on an obvious alternative. The problem is wicked enough to confound easy solutions, and each policy alternative had strategic and moral deficiencies. If the critics can agree on one thing, though, they would agree that the Obama administration’s decision to not strike the Assad regime in 2013—before Russia had escalated its involvement—was a mistake and undermined international norms regarding the use of chemical weapons,” Andrew Exum writes for the Atlantic.
“Now comes the Trump administration, which has made clear that ousting Mr. Assad is not a priority and fighting the Islamic State takes precedence. President Barack Obama, after calling for Mr. Assad’s ouster in 2011, shifted toward that same view, but only after repeated efforts to work with Russia on a political solution,” writes the New York Times.