Despite Trump's bluster, it's unclear what Syria strikes accomplished

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Questions over what impact the mission will have on the wider war remain unanswered

The US, British and French jets that took off from the British base in Akrotiri in Cyprus, France, the Mediterranean and perhaps other bases in the Middle East never came close to the Russian or Syrian air defence systems.

The cruise missiles fired by the US B1-B Lancer heavy bombers, French Rafales and UK Tornados GR4s – as well as from frigates in the Mediterranean – were among the world’s most modern. They had ranges of hundreds of kilometres, designed to be fired from a distance to avoid the risk of aircraft being targeted by Syria’s largely Soviet-era anti-aircraft missile systems.

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