President Donald Trump and President Barack Obama have now both ordered airstrikes in Syria, but there are key ways that Thursday’s strike was different from the previous military strikes there.
The airstrike Trump authorized Thursday hit a Syrian government airbase in response to the chemical weapons attack carried out earlier this week.
It’s a step Obama was unwilling to take, at least without congressional approval, as Obama elected not to strike Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime in 2013 after a chemical attack crossed his “red line.”
But Obama did launch airstrikes in Syria a year later, as the US began a military campaign against ISIS in Iraq and Syria. The nearly three-year war against ISIS has led to a steady stream of US bombings from manned aircraft, drones and missiles fired from warships.
The Trump administration continued Obama’s bombing campaign against ISIS when Trump was inaugurated, as US-backed Syrian rebels prepare an offensive on Raqqa, the terror group’s stronghold in Syria.