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The U.S. has launched coordinated strikes on Syria: What's next

Mattis
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Joint Chiefs Chairman Joe Dunford. (DoD photo by Army Sgt. Amber I. Smith)

The U.S. launched coordinated strikes on Syria Friday night, in alliance with France and the U.K., in response to chemical weapons attack brought by the Assad regime. Defense Secretary James Mattis confirmed that this was a "one-time shot," and that the strike was directed solely at the Assad regime, not at Russia — a supporter of the Assad regime.

The fallout to watch for: If the U.S. hit any Russians, we could potentially face an escalating military conflict. If the strikes were too limited, it’s possible Bashar al-Assad and allies may not be deterred from launching chemical weapons attacks in the future.