“It was unclear what effect the new sanctions would have on those targeted. All are listed only as working for Syria’s Scientific Studies and Research Center, which itself was sanctioned—along with any person deemed to be involved with its chemical weapons activity—in an executive order signed by President George W. Bush in 2005. Additional sanctions were imposed on the center and affiliated organizations by Treasury in 2007,” Karen DeYoung writes for the Washington Post.
“The missile attack on Syria has already accomplished one important objective, namely that chemical weapons will not be used again on the Syrian battlefields. Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad now knows what his most consequential patrons, Iran and Russia, have told him that such usage could invite further American action. A line of deterrence had been established and an important international norm reclaimed,” CFR’s Ray Takeyh writes for the Washington Examiner.
“Once Assad’s forces shattered the protest movement and gave momentum to an armed insurgency by actual Islamic extremists, the kidnapping and execution of journalists by the jihadists made reporting from the country very dangerous. The resulting haze of uncertainty around many of the war’s events, and suspicion that Assad’s forces have also kidnapped foreign reporters, has dovetailed perfectly with his government’s strategy of claiming that all evidence of brutality by its forces is fake,” Robert Mackey writes for The Intercept.