AN AMERICAN economist has claimed that he accurately “predicted” on television the outcome of a US strike on Syria seven years ago.

Jeffrey Sachs, who is also the director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, appeared on MSNBC’s Morning Joe to discuss the recent US, Britain and France led air strikes against Syria on Friday.

He told the program it was a “mistake that started seven years ago”.

“I remember the day on your show when President Obama said ‘[Syrian President Bashar] Asaad must go’ and I looked at you and I said ‘huh, how’s he going to do that? Where’s the policy for that?” Prof Sachs told the program.

“The CIA and Saudi Arabia together in covert operations tried to overthrow [Syrian President] Asaad. It was a disaster.

“Eventually it brought in both ISIS as a splinter group to the jihadists that went in. It also brought in Russia.”

Prof Sachs said the US has been “digging deeper and deeper” since making “a proxy war in Syria”.

“It’s killed 500,000 people [and] displaced 10 million,” he said.

“And I’ll say, predictably so because I predicted it seven years ago that there was no way to do this — that it would make a complete chaos.”

According to Mr Sachs, the US “should get out now”.

“[We should not] continue to throw missiles ... Not have a confrontation with Russia,” he said.

“Seven years has been a disaster under Obama, continuing under Trump. This is what I would call the permanent state.

“This is the CIA, the Pentagon wanting to keep Iran and Russia out of Syria. But [there’s] no way to do that.”

Prof Sachs said US President Donald Trump’s instincts were originally to “get out” but that he crumbled under outside pressure to act.

“But then all the establishment, the NY Times, the Washington Post, the Pentagon, everybody said ‘no that’s irresponsible’,” he said.

“But his instinct was right: get out.

“We’ve done enough damage, seven years. And now we really risk a confrontation with Russia that is extraordinarily dangerous, reckless.”

Mr Trump tweeted “Mission Accomplished” on Saturday after US, French and British warplanes and ships launched more than 100 missiles nearly unopposed by Syrian air defences.

While he declared success, the Pentagon said the pummelling of three chemical-related facilities left enough others intact to enable the Assad government to use banned weapons against civilians if it chooses.

US Ambassador Nikki Haley made clear the country wouldn’t be pulling troops out of Syria immediately, saying the country’s involvement there “is not done.”

She said the US’ three goals for accomplishing its mission were making sure chemical weapons are not used in a way that could harm US national interests, defeating the Islamic State group and having a good vantage point to watch what Iran is doing.

“We’re not going to leave until we know we’ve accomplished those things,” she said.

The night time assault on Syria was carefully limited to minimise civilian casualties and avoid direct conflict with Russia, but confusion arose over the extent to which Washington warned Moscow in advance.

The Pentagon said it gave no explicit warning.

The US ambassador in Moscow, John Huntsman, said in a video, “Before we took action, the United States communicated with” Russia to “reduce the danger of any Russian or civilian casualties.” Russia has military forces, including air defences, in several areas of Syria to support Assad in his long war against anti-government rebels. Russia and Iran called the use of force by the US and its French and British allies a “military crime” and “act of aggression.” The UN Security Council rejected a Russian resolution calling for condemnation of the aggression by the three Western allies.

In his televised address from the White House on Friday, Trump said the US was prepared to keep up the economic, diplomatic and military pressure on Assad until he ends a pattern of killing his own people with internationally banned chemical weapons.

That did not mean military strikes would continue. In fact, General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, said no additional attacks were planned.