Chemical weapons' usage in Syria clearly required an immediate and forceful response, but the handling of the aftermath of the targeted CW assassination attempt on Sergei and Yulia Skripal continues to pose a long-term challenge for the British government.
In a move that surprised casual observers, the Swedish Armed Forces announced on 14 September a permanent and immediate deployment of forces to the Baltic island of Gotland. The move reflects a worsening security situation in the region over the longer term.
Last Monday a UN aid convoy was targeted and destroyed by what appears to be Russian-made munitions. It is therefore likely that either the Russian Air Force or the Syrian Air Force carried out the attack.
Despite the obvious antagonism between Russia and the US, the two states can also cooperate, as the current deal over Syria indicates, especially when Moscow wishes to expand its available strategic options.
Russia’s ability to deploy bombers in Iran for sorties in Syria has less operational significance than either Moscow or Tehran would have us believe. But the geopolitical impact is substantial, both for Russia’s claims to superpower status, and for Iran’s positioning as a pre-eminent regional power.