The Syria strikes show the west is serious about chemical weapons | Martin Kettle

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The allies sought to deter their use without drawing in Russia and Iran – but the risks of escalation remain high

Enough to show they are serious. Not enough for it to get out of control. That, in essence, seems to be the initial lesson of the missile attacks launched on Syria this morning by the US, France and Britain. This judgment may of course prove premature, as so much else that has been said about the Syrian conflict has been. There may be further western strikes within hours and days. There may be retaliation in some form. The western allies’ version of events on the ground may prove over-simplified – it is already being contested in Syria.

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