Facing the possibility of U.S. military attack, Bashar al-Assad should worry about his long-term future. But based upon the historical record, any American military attack is more likely to be aimed at coercion than at threatening his immediate survival as president of Syria.
— Brian Michael Jenkins, senior adviser to the president of the RAND Corporation
The United States is going to find it hard enough as it is to respond effectively to Syria's chemical weapons use. Israel and its supporters in Congress should not complicate matters by trying to make this about Iran.
— Dalia Dassa Kaye, director of the Center for Middle East Public Policy
[The conflict in] Syria is contributing to a resurgence of extremism that is becoming reminiscent of Afghanistan in the 1980s. It is increasingly a critical training ground for committed fighters and an ideological incubator for violent jihad.
— Seth Jones, associate director of the International Security and Defense Policy Center
Syria is Iran's only real state ally in the Middle East. But Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's behavior also puts Iranian leaders, especially the newly elected President Hassan Rowhani, in a quandary.
— Alireza Nader, senior international policy analyst
Not acting threatens the credibility not just of Obama's red-line threat, but of all U.S. threats going forward. In addition, without a response from the United States the Syrian people can expect Assad to launch even more severe chemical attacks. The conundrum for the United States is that it is not clear what kind of response would best support its interests.
— Julie Taylor, Middle East policy analyst