MSNBC’s Chris Matthews thinks Trump bombed Syria to prove he’s not beholden to Russia, The Independent reports.
Matthews said the attacks might have been pre-planned.
A spokesperson for Russian President Vladimir Putin said the assault would “inflict major damage on US-Russia ties”.
Trump said he hoped to “deter the spread and use of deadly chemical weapons.”
Matthews voiced his opinion:
“Maybe it’s cynicism but I thought… if there was a way for [Mr Trump] to kill the narrative he’s in bed with Putin it would be this.”
“Take on Putin’s warm freshwater port [in Tartus], take on his satellite, his loyal ally Assad. And that would be a way of saying I was never in bed with this guy, I never planned any kind of coalition in Moscow.”
Matthews also said Trump and Putin might “have had a phone-call this evening, and they worked this thing out, and it was a set piece that was not meant to be particularly antagonistic to Moscow.”
A Russian naval base on the coastal city of Tartus in Syria is a key piece of the Kremlin’s global position, allowing easy access for Russian planes and ships to go between Black Sea, Western waters and potential access to untouched natural gas.
It’s Russia’s only naval base on foreign soil, and a key part to Russia’s participation in the Syrian conflict.
The Russian response to the strike has been less reactionary than expected, but did include suspended communication with US forces in order to stop planes colliding over Syria, a collaboration that began in 2015.
(image via MSNBC screengrab)