One night of bombing may not stop Assad using chemical weapons, expert warns

The U.S.-led coalition that bombed Syrian targets on the weekend may need to take further steps if chemical weapons are used again.
The Syrian Scientific Research Center in Barzeh, near Damascus, was destroyed by coalition airstrikes at the weekend. (Hassan Ammar/Associated Press)
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Bombing targets in Syria may not be enough to dissuade President Bashar al-Assad from the use of chemical weapons, an expert in Middle Eastern politics has warned.

"A year ago, after we struck Assad, it took him four months before he used chemical weapons again," said Jonathan Cristol, an expert in Middle Eastern politics, and a fellow at the World Policy Institute.

"If he does do it again, we need to hit back harder," he said.

Trump says U.S., allies will launch "precision strikes" until the Syrian government stops the use of chemical weapons. 7:42

The U.S.-led airstrikes, backed by France and the United Kingdom, were launched in response to an alleged chemical attack by regime forces on Douma on April 7. British Prime Minister Theresa May said the bombings were neither an attempt to change the course of Syria's seven-year civil war nor escalate tensions with Syria's allies in Moscow or Tehran.

Listen to the full conversation at the top of this page, which includes a conversation with Rebecca Collard, a Canadian journalist in Beirut, on the Syrian reaction to the airstrikes.


This segment was produced by The Current's Idella Sturino.

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