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Western airstrikes unlikely to impact Assad's war machine
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BEIRUT (AP) — The Western airstrikes targeting suspected Syrian chemical weapons facilities might have rained down punishment from the sky, but they will not fundamentally degrade a war machine whose main bases, weaponry and personnel remain in place. As a symbol, they might reflect the inability to prevent President Bashar Assad from marching toward a professed victory in the civil war — still denying he ever even used banned substances, and perhaps not even needing them. Any opposition expectations that the airstrikes might try to destroy or degrade Assad's lethal air power or target bases where his warplanes and helicopters begin their bombing missions were quickly dashed: The U.S., British and French precision attacks only singled out Assad's alleged chemical weapons capabilities.

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