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The US strike in Syria could have repercussions far beyond the Middle East.
By authorising military action, Donald Trump is differentiating himself from his predecessor - showing that he is prepared to act, that crossing a red line will have consequences - and that is a message designed to be heard by the leaders of China and North Korea as well.
The timing could not underline the President's point more powerfully - hosting Xi Jinping for dinner at the time as he was, ahead of their first serious meeting on Friday, at which Kim Jong-Un's nuclear programme is expected to top the agenda.
Now Mr Trump doesn't need to just tell the Chinese president he is serious - he can point to the satellite imagery.
But Syria is not North Korea.