US, UK, and French forces have launched a series of attacks on Syrian facilities.
The initial press reporting is somewhat garbled so it will take time to get the details right, but it seems that we are attacking to degrade Syria's ability to conduct future chemical warfare. That's pretty vague, I know, but as I said we will have to wait for further details. Such "degrading" could involve attacks on chemical weapons' stores, manufacturing centers, military units capable of conducting such warfare, supporting infrastructure of various types, and, of course, on Russian and Iranian support mechanisms. The attacks could also be aimed at degrading Assad's military capabilities, in general, and at embarrassing the Russians and Iranians by demonstrating to Assad that his friends can't spare him the pain we can inflict. In recent weeks, as Secretary-designate Pompeo confirmed, we, in fact, have been in direct combat with Russian "mercenaries," killing hundreds of them, it seems. I trust we will not go for the regime change brass ring, a la Libya, but we will see.
President Trump inherited a mess in Syria. "Mess" is too kind a word. Even the Israelis who have a vested and primordial interest in Syrian developments do not seem to have it figured out except for the part of being very reluctant to knock off Assad--something which the Israelis could have done any time in the past many years.
My default position which comes from 34 years in government service is to shut up and support the troops once they go into action. The time for debate is over. I just hope that we have a plan with a realizable and positive goal, and that we are not just floundering as we did under Obama/Clinton/Kerry. I certainly trust the instincts and leadership abilities of President Trump, NSC chief Bolton, and SecDef Mattis much more than I did those of the late and unlamented Obama misadministration.