There are reports everywhere about the U.S. strike inside Syria on a known funnelling point for foreign fighters into Iraq. Josh Landis at Syria Comment has some very intriguing analysis. He writes that the U.S. has been refusing to return an ambassador to Damascus in order to win Syrian compliance in intelligence sharing on the border. This strike is one attempt to force compliance:
“It will, of course, not force compliance, but the Bush administration must assume that an Obama victory on November 4 will force Syria to behave nicely in order to win favor with the new administration. Thus, White House analysts may assume that it can have a ‘freebee” — taking a bit of personal revenge on Syria without the US paying a price. Damascus may just have to write it off as a good bye salute from its friends in Washington.”
Marc Gopin writes that it has the added benefit of serving as a neoconservative October surprise for John McCain.
Rob at Arabic Media Shack thinks that Syria knew about the strike beforehand: “It seems unlikely that the US did not have some kind of tacit approval from the Syrians before carrying out this attack.” He argues that Syrian bluster over the attack is just that, and Damascus is increasingly worried about the Salafists setting up shop on its border.