Military action alone won’t oust the dictator. The west needs to prosecute a political strategy that leads to a negotiated settlement

It was on Wednesday that Donald Trump sent that fateful tweet about a looming attack on Syria as punishment for the latest use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime. My judgment, before then, was that western military action was not, necessarily, part of the answer to the conflict. Needed, instead, was political will on the part of the US in particular – as the only superpower able to exert serious pressure on the main broker in Syria, Russia – to bring the warring sides to the negotiating table.

Related: Syria latest: Theresa May calls strikes ‘right and legal’ – live updates

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Read More It was right to strike, but only bringing Russia to the table can end the Syrian conflict | Lina Khatib

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