U.S. President Donald Trump declared “mission accomplished” in the wake of Friday’s strikes against the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad − but if anyone emerged as a winner it was Mr. al-Assad.
In a video posted on Twitter by his office Saturday morning, Mr. al-Assad was shown walking calmly to work just hours after the cruise-missile strikes ended. Later in the day, the Syrian military announced it was in full control of Douma, the town on the outskirts of Damascus where Mr. al-Assad’s forces are alleged to have used chlorine gas and perhaps other chemical agents in an April 7 attack.
“All the terrorists have left Douma city,” the Syrian army said in its own “mission accomplished” statement, declaring an end to the five-year siege of the wider area known as East Ghouta. The Army of Islam militia that held Douma until the weekend said that it was forced to withdraw after the attack that killed dozens.
Read more: Limited U.S. military action leaves al-Assad looking like the winner - The Globe and Mail