Asselborn: US strike not coherent military strategy
(ml/sth) – Luxembourg's Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn on Friday called the US military strike against Syria a "brutally symbolic military action".
Speaking to Luxemburger Wort, Asselborn said that the strike against a Syrian military air field was understandable.
However, the military action would reveal numerous questions related to international law, as an attack against another state could only be endorsed by the UN Security Council under certain strict conditions.
The United Nations did not manage to agree on a joint resolution on the subject of the alleged Syrian chemical weapons attack so far.
Surprising change of mind
Trump's sudden change of mind, regarding Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, was very surprising, according to Asselborn.
When the EU Foreign Ministers met in Luxembourg on Monday, they met under the assumption that getting rid of the Syrian President was no longer a priority for the US government. At that moment, it seemed as though the US administration wanted to include Assad and his regime in a transitory phase.
Just four days later, the US military launched this air strike against the Assad regime.
Asselborn pointed out that during the presidency campaign, Trump repeatedly accused his opponent Hillary Clinton of risking a war with Russia through her stance on Syria.
"No coherent military strategy"
As opposed to the Iraq invasion at the time, Trump's decision seemingly was a "spontaneous attack", according to Asselborn. Pressure caused by domestic problems might have been an additional factor.
"At this moment, nothing points to the start of a coherent military strategy," he added.
But Asselborn remains sceptical of the use of force to solve the Syria conflict: "bombs will not help to appease or even solve this conflict".
Diplomacy over bombs
Luxembourg's Foreign Minister continually places his hopes in an international diplomatic effort.
Rex Tillerson and Sergey Lavrov, the US and Russian Foreign Ministers, are supposed to meet next week to find a way to preserve official cease-fire in Syria.
Furthermore, Asselborn thinks that no efforts should be spared to unite the moderate opposition in Syria. The ultimate goal has to be a peaceful transitory phase during which the Syrian people can determine their future themselves in a free election.