Just like the US leader, the Philippine president suddenly shifted to the extreme opposite from trying not to anger China over the South China Sea dispute – to ordering the military to occupy its islands. Who can’t be moved by the grim images of children dying from the Salin attack in Idlip, Syria? Certainly no one – and it has moved the American president greatly that he ordered the missile attack on the ones allegedly responsible.
Youtube video from; The Word Breaking News
[VIDEO]: South China Sea: Duterte orders Philippines military to occupy islands – CNN.com
US’s Immediate Response
The strike is the first direct military action by the US against the government of Bashar al-Assad of Syria after six years of civil war. It is definitely an intense US military campaign in the region and could be taken by the Syrian government as an act of war.
Russia Condemns US Strike
There were six fatalities in the US airstrike as confirmed by the Syrian’s Armed Forces General Command. Russia condemned the strike and called it an act of aggression. Assad’s office refers to it as a disgraceful act that is short-sighted. Russia defend’s the regime saying that it’s the rebels who are responsible contrary to the US’s finding.
Occupy South China Sea Islands
Just about the same time, the Philippine President has ordered military personnel to occupy all Philippines-claimed islands in the disputed the South China Sea. He plans to raise the Philippine flag on Pagasa Island or Thitu Island on independence day on June 12. Thitu is in the Spratly island chain. Philippines, China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Brunei, and Vietnam made claims on parts of it.
Sudden Shift in Policy
The US president’s position on whether the US should take military action against the Syrian President’s regime has obviously shifted. His decision came after he was publicly moved by the images of this week’s chemical weapons attack. Can the coincidence in the US and the Philippines’ sudden shift indicates that the long-time allies remain supportive of each other may it be against Russia or China?