Syria's regime was said to be informed, but not involved with the strikes on Isis (also called Islamic State) militants and other extremists groups.
The military might of the US, Bahrain, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates will be a huge force for Isis, and Assad's other enemies, to deal with. But it's a complex situation: While Bahrain, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are all opposed to Assad's regime, Robert Fisk wrote last week that the about-turn in Western foreign policy could also be a boost to the Syrian regime and its supporters.
Only just over a year ago, the US was planning to smash the Syrian regime with bombs and missiles – and now it wants to smash the Isis regime with bombs and missiles.
Robert Fisk, Middle East correspondent for the Independent