IN the future of Syria, the state occupation of the main part of Syria will surely vie against the Kurdish on-state occupation now the battle against Islamic State draws to a close. The US, allies of the Turkish Kurds is withdrawing from financial costs of the war. The problem is that as military operations become less, the diplomatic effort becomes now and increasingly important.
The outcome depends upon wise and skilful diplomats in and outside of Syria. It is debatable whether President Trump will facilitate his best negotiators to work with others for the benefit of syria and the peace of the world. Other Middle Eastern countries will want involvement and could be a help or a hindrance. Many fear the latter. Syria is likely to remain a painful hotspot of conflict .
The scope and method of the strikes indicate that this was a limited punitive attack. It is hard to see what response the Syrians take. There could be panic that their Iranian allies may pursue some reprisal. Iran backed militias operating in Iraq where US forces are engaged in combat against the Islamic state. This is not going to alter the balance of power in Syria. Further US strikes are unlikely unless Sarin is used again.
Progress can be made if the US and Russia work together. Unless Syria and Russia change course, Assad's army will surround Aleppo, cutting the city off from outside supply. Rebel supporters and their families fearing capture will head for the Turkish border as refugees in more significant numbers than before.