Hundreds of Syrians took to the streets of central Damascus today to show support for President Assad after the U.S., France and the U.K. launched some 105 missiles on a chemical research this weekend, destroying three targets near the capital and Homs.
President Trump declared the strike a “Mission Accomplished,” calling the action “perfectly executed.” Even so, Assad projected a business-as-usual veneer on social media, posting a nine-second video of himself walking through the presidential palace carrying a briefcase.
Analysts in the region say strikes like these could ultimately embolden the regime along with his Russian and Iranian allies, rather than deter more attacks on civilians.
“Assad is in a much stronger situation than he was before,” Elias Farhat, a retired Lebanese general and Syria analyst said. “Because he is, according to his people, is a hero who confronted the Israeli attack on the airfield and now American and European attack.”
But for the evacuees who lived in Eastern Ghouta and escaped the latest chemical attack in Douma, the U.S. response seems meaningless.
“It's too late for that [U.S. airstrikes],” Abu Hasan, a recently evacuated Douma resident told VICE News. “After all these deaths, including children ... but we blame them [the U.S.] for not taking timely action.”
This segment originally aired April 16, 2018 on VICE News Tonight on HBO.