“This is the first time a [US-classified] state sponsor [of terrorism] has ever been essentially busted getting [Scud] ballistic missiles close to a terrorist organization,” says Andrew Tabler, a Syria expert at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. “In a post 9/11 world, this is not what we expected after 14 or so senior [diplomatic] visits to Damascus in the last year.”
What's to blame?
Although Obama seems committed to engaging Syria, the administration has been frustrated by what it considers the lack of positive response from Damascus. In particular, the US seems unable to persuade Syria to drop its support for militant anti-Israel groups such as Hezbollah and the Palestinian movement Hamas, also considered a terrorist group by the US and Europe.