National News

Chemical Weapon Attacks in Syria Cause Dismay

The conflict in Syria has escalated with another chemical weapon attack in the town of Khan Sheikhoun in the province of Idlib in northern Syria. The attack on Apr. 4 killed almost one hundred people, including many children.

Russia’s defense ministry has argued in a press conference that Syrian planes were destroying chemical weapons, not deploying them, and said the airstrikes targeted a rebel storage depot for toxins. Many western nations, including the United States, however, blamed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

“The US government is working to ascertain the truth behind this incident, but it has the fingerprints of a regime attack. If the Assad regime was indeed responsible for perpetrating this attack, the reported casualty figures would make it the biggest incident like this since the Syrian regime sarin attack in August 2013 against the Damascus suburbs,” said a U.S. intelligence official at the press conference, as reported by USA Today.

As a result of this attack President Donald J. Trump ordered a counter-attack on the Shayrat air base, from where Tuesday’s chemical attacks were launched. The US Navy sent 59 Tomahawk missiles from two destroyers that were aimed to strike aircraft, fuel storage, weapon dumps, and other equipment, according to USA Today.

“Using a deadly nerve agent, Assad choked out the life of innocent men, women and children. It was a slow and brutal death for so many, even beautiful babies were cruelly murdered in this very barbaric attack. No child of God should ever suffer such horror. Tonight I ordered a targeted military strike on the airfield in Syria from where the chemical attack was launched. It is in this vital, national security interest of the United States to prevent and deter the spread and use of deadly chemical weapons. There can be no dispute that Syria used banned chemical weapons, violated its obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention and ignored the urging of the U.N. Security Council,” said Trump on Thursday night in Palm Beach, Fla., as reported by New York Times.

In 2013, when a chemical attack killed nearly 1400 people in Syria President Obama asked for congressional approval to attack Syria, which got rejected. Afterwards Russia’s President Vladimir Putin jumped in to help negotiate a deal that should ban the possession and use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government.

“There is a small town that is controlled by the rebels in the north of Syria, close to the Turkish border. Assad attacked this small town with chemical weapons and almost one hundred people died. Most of them were women and children. The airport from where Assad started the airplanes for these attacks has been destroyed through the American attacks,” said Ammar Mohrat, who is a senior with a major in computer science and who was born and raised in Syria, regarding the recent attacks.

The United Nations Security Council had previously tried to impose sanctions on Syria over the alleged use of chemical weapons by the government of President Bashar al-Assad. However, at the last Security Council meeting in Feb., China, Russia, and Bolivia used their veto. Over the last five years, Russia used seven vetoes to protect its ally Syria.

“I always say that we need the Americans and NATO to interfere and help us. However, there is no need to put troops on the ground. It would help to have a no-fly zone in northern Syria, so that refugees can come back into Syria to build a new army that will fight against Assad and ISIS. This is the only way to beat radical Islam and foreign troops will only make it worse because you need the local people to fight,” Mohrat said.

It is an uptight situation with no clear solution in sight. As long as the countries of the United Nations and NATO are not clear about how to handle the situation the civil war will not end. The consequences can be seen all over the world with millions of refugees that are looking for a life in peace. Especially in Turkey and the European Union, many countries have been overwhelmed with the amount of refugees that tried to enter these safe countries.

“The Americans should establish a no-fly zone and then help people to create a new constitution and a new parliament in Syria. Then they should help to establish a new army and a new government and the people could take over Damascus. Assad has been in power for over seven years and he killed thousands of people. Because of him there are so many refugees and he cause all the problems,” Mohrat said.

The main problem with a big coalition to precipitate the Syrian government is that the Syrian population is divided. As long as President al-Assad still has a big share of the population supporting him it will be difficult to support the rebellious fighters that want to establish a new government.

“Years of previous attempts at changing Assad’s behavior have all failed and failed very dramatically. As a result, the refugee crisis continues to deepen, and the region continues to destabilize, threatening the United States and its allies. Tonight I call on all civilized nations to join us in seeking to end the slaughter and bloodshed in Syria. And also, to end terrorism of all kinds and all types,” said Trump to journalists on the night of Apr. 6 at West Palm Beach, Fla.

As Trump stated, solving the problem in Syria will also help to fight terrorism. The civil war in Syria has nourished radical terrorist groups that are looking for redemption to whoever killed their loved ones. This makes the Syria crisis a problem that affects all countries around the world. Many refugees would like to go back to their home country, when the conflict is solved and they can feel safe again.

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