President Trump has tonight kept another campaign promise. He wouldn't tell in advance of an attack. We did and he didn't.
The reason was the saran gas attack against civilian by the Syrian Air Force.
When I was assigned to Pruem Air Station then West Germany in 1980, I got a 3 years lesson in biological and chemical warfare. If the Warsaw Pact (Russia) would have attacked NATO, we expected Russia to use banned chemical and biological weapons. When I enlisted in the Michigan Army Guard, I had more to learn. When the Company got called to active duty in 2003 for Iraq, again I was trained in this.
Saran is a nerve agent. It is extremely toxic. It takes very little to kill. If it is concentrated enough, just a small drop on the skin is fatal. The "antidote" is atropine. That is a concentrated adrenalin.
Symptoms are pin pointed pupils, shaking, and in extreme it can be flailing like an insect after you have used insect spray on it. That insecticide is a nerve agent.
All such weapons have been "banned" since the 1920s. We maintained a large stockpile of this and many other agents. I believe we have destroyed our stockpile as the weapons were getting old and increasingly unstable.
We used 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles to attack a Syrian Air Base where we believed the attack came from. Tomahawks are a subsonic jet propelled cruise missile. These can be air, ship, or even submarine launched. They have a range up to about 1,000 miles. They are internal and GPS guided. They are very accurate. They are vulnerable to antiaircraft fire if seen. This attack being at night would make that very difficult.
So we will have to see what happens now. Any action has the risk of unforeseen consequences.
If this helps to end the too long civil war in Syria, it will be good.