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A nation must think before it acts.
Private analysts say the roughly 2,000 American troops in Syria who had been working with local Kurdish and Arab allies battling Islamic State in eastern Syriarisk getting caught in “mission creep” as Islamic State loses its foothold in the country but the chaotic civil war between Mr. Assad and a slew of rebel and terrorist groups shows no signs of ending.
“We risk getting into a rapidly escalating situation in which we have bitten off more than we can chew,” said Hal Brands, a former high-level Pentagon adviser who teaches at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies.
A Pentagon spokeswoman said Wednesday’s airstrikes were authorized only after forces loyal to the Assad regime, moving in a battalion-sized formation with artillery, tanks, multiple-launch rocket systems and mortars, fired about 25 rounds very near the headquarters of the U.S.-backed Syrian Defense Forces, which is opposed by the Assad government and Islamic State, in eastern Syria.