At this stage it seems reasonable to wonder whether Syria was attacked because it didn’t use chemical weapons rather than because it did. That may seem strange until we remember rather weighty suspicions surrounding the main accusers, especially the White Helmets with their long standing links to the US government.
And if that is not enough, consider that Iraq was savagely attacked in 2003 by a US/UK coalition under similar circumstances, that is, without either an international law justification or authorization by the UN Security Council, the only two ways that international force can be lawfully employed, and even then only as a last resort after sanctions and diplomatic have been tried and failed. It turned out that the political rationale for recourse to aggressive war against Iraq, its alleged possession of weapons of mass destruction was totally false, either elaborately fabricated evidence or more generously, a hugely embarrassing intelligence lapse.
To be fair, this Syrian military caper could have turned out far worse. The entire attack lasted only three minutes, no civilian casualties have been reported, and thankfully, there was no challenge posed to the Russian and Iranian military presence in Syria, or to the Syrian government, thus avoiding the rightly feared retaliation and escalation cycle. More than at any time since the end of the Cold War there was sober concern abounded that a clash of political wills or an accidental targeting mistake could cause geopolitical stumbles culminating in World War III.