Wars and Conflicts Between the United States and Syria


USS New Jersey 1984 Lebanon

American battleship USS New Jersey firing 16" rounds at Syrian and Druze positions in Lebanon on February 4, 1984.


With the onset of the Syrian Civil War in 2011 various rebel groups sought to overthrow the Assad regime, and the increased violence and threats of international escalation and intervention led, eventually, to the United States supplying some rebel groups with military aid. Added to the complicated mix of warring factions, the Islamic State set up shop in the Syrian city of Raqqa, and spread their brand of Jihad to Iraq and other nations. This prompted the U.S. and other nations to fight the Islamic State (aka ISIS) inside Syria without the permission of the Syrian government. In 2013, after the Syrian government used chemical weapons on a civilian target, President Obama nearly launched an attack on Assad, but a deal struck with Assad and his Russian allies to remove all Syrian government chemical weapons staved off an American attack on Syria.

In August, 2014, the United States began military operations against the Islamic State in Iraq, and in September, 2014, the United States and other Western allies also began airstrikes inside Syria against ISIS. In April, 2017, further Syrian use of chemical weapons prompted an American missile strike on Syria.

The United States and Syria have engaged in military action against each other before. In the early 1980s, the United States, France, and Italy, sent troops to Lebanon to help stabalize a very bad situation. This peace-keeping mission eventually devolved into a major combat action against the Syrian military forces in Lebanon and their Lebanese militia allies.



The Cold War--The Cold War was a conflict between the United States and her allies, against the Soviet Union and her allies and satellites from the end of World War Two to the early 1990s. Syria's friendly relations with the Soviets began in the 1950s, grew dramatically in the 1960s, and become much more pronounced during and after Syria's 1973 war with Israel, and Egypt's shift toward the U.S. and away from Russia. The Syrian-Soviet alliance was driven by a mutual hostility toward the United States, Israel, and the pro-American Arab states, such as Saudi Arabia and Jordan.

The U.S.-Syrian Conflict in Lebanon (1983-1984)--Military conflict between the United States (and allies), against Syria, and her Muslim militia allies, including a newly-formed Hezbollah.

American Raid Into Syria (October, 2008)-Part of the American War in Iraq, the U.S. launched a cross-border raid into Syria in an attack on an al-Qaida base.

Syrian Civil War (2011-Present)--Syrian rebellion against the regime of Bashir Assad. While at first only supplying non-lethal aid to the moderate Free Syrian Army rebels, the United States soon began conducting military training and arming of the anti-Assad rebels. In August, 2014, the U.S. began airstrikes against ISIS forces in Syria. As of 2017, the U.S. also maintains a small force of combat troops and advisors on Syrian soil aiding Kurdish and other groups fighting against ISIS. The U.S. actions in Syria against ISIS are conducted without the permission of the Assad regime.

Syrian Rescue Attempt (2014)-On July 4, 2014, American Special Forces launched a raid near the ISIS -held Syrian city of Raqqa in an attempt to free foreign hostages, including two American journalists.

American Missile Strike on Syria (April 6, 2017)-In response to the Assad regime's apparant use of chemical weapons on a civilian target, on April 4 chemical attack in Khan Sheikhoun, United States President Donald Trump ordered a retaliatory strike against the Syrian air base at Al Shayrat. Two U.S. Navy destoyers launched 59 Tomahawk Cruise Missiles at the Syrian target. The U.S. missile strike destoyed approximately 20 Syrian warplanes, various arms depots, anti-aircraft defenses, and other buildings and targets. Syria claimed six base personnel were killed.





 Sources and Links:

Chronology: Marines in lebanon, 1982-1984

U.S. Strike Designed to Deter Assad Regime’s Use of Chemical Weapons  -Department of Defense article

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