CHICAGO (CBS) — The airstrikes have sparked local protests and reaction from the Syrian community in Chicago.
CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov reports one expert doubts they’ll have any long-term effect.
They oppose the military action.
For or against it, University of Chicago political science professor Robert Pape doesn’t think they’ll make much difference.
“One strike does not make for a strategy in an extended campaign to put pressure on Assad and Putin not to do this again,” he said.
Pape, an air strike expert, wrote “Bombing to Win” which is required reading in the U.S. Air Force.
He doubts Friday’s strikes fully depleted Syrian president Bashir al-Assad’s chemical weapons supply, adding Russia could just give him more.
And Pape says it puts the 2,000 U.S. troops in Syria at risk.
“We have to be very concerned about retaliation against our troops,” said Pape.
Syrian native Hani Atassi still has dozens of relatives there.
He agrees it will take more than one air strike to stop the killing of Syrian civilians.
“This is a small, positive step,” said Atassi. “Why are they still having relationships with western banks to still be able to fund their killing machine,” he added.
Then there’s the timing of the strikes, which took place days after President Donald Trump mentioned pulling U.S. troops out of Syria.
And in the same week his personal lawyer’s office was raided by the FBI.
“Air strikes always boost the president’s popularity,” said Pape. “Anytime you get a good PR boost you’re taking attention from something else,” he said.