Once again, the Syrian government have been accused of chemical attacks and denied these allegations. The United States of America has expressed that it is “locked and loaded” in answer to any further chemical attack in Syria. This warning came after Saturday morning’s organised strikes on Damascus and Homs.
It has been understood that on April the 7th, approximately 70 Syrians were killed and along with hundreds injured in Douma, a rebel-held city in the south of the Syrian state. All fingers seemed to point to Assad’s government, with the EU issuing an outright statement that, “evidence points towards yet another chemical attack by the regime.” They continued by calling, “an immediate response by the international community.”
The US, the United Kingdom, and France launched air strikes across facilities in Syria in response to the alleged Assad-led chemical attacks. Donald Trump was quick to respond by calling the Syrian President a, “gas killing animal.” In the midst of such a sensitive situation, it seems unnecessary to partake in online name-calling. Trump then proceeded to orchestrate air strikes with the UK and France, with the alleged aim of deterring the use of chemical weapons, as well as the production and spread of its acquisition. This dual support from its allied countries has allowed for a stronger involvement of the US within Syria.
The air strikes will abruptly continue to cause rifts in the delicate US-Russia-Iran relations. Naturally, Russia had warned the US that there would be consequences for carrying out a strike, and consequently, the stance by the US and its allies has further damaged the United States and Russia’s relationship. Concurrently, it is likely that any further action will hinder US and Iranian relationships.
There is no denying that Saturday’s air strikes had been an audacious move that was quick to fall into motion. However, it is also evidently a short-term solution, much like last year’s US missile strike. Moreover, it is hard to gauge, in such sensitive situations such as the Syrian War, that the message that the US and their allies want to send is the same message that is being conveyed. On the flipside, it has been demonstrated that Russia and Iran are still upholding their long-term goals and positions within Syria, an involvement that would be hard to shake.
The United Nation’s Security Council has rejected Russia’s proposed resolution, and it is apparent that there is a hopelessly divided security council, which refuses to assist in deescalating and relieving the situation in Syria. Although the strikes were not expected to end the enormity of the Syrian Crisis, it remains uncertain if there have been any achievements, and if there will ever be any achievement despite Trump proclaiming, “mission accomplished.” Moreover, there remains the question of whether there is any role for these nations to play in the path for peace in Syria.
It can be said that the strikes demonstrated a strong sanction and stance towards the use of chemical weapons, not just for Syria, but for the international community. However, fighting chemical attacks with air strikes appears counterproductive, and will not create a push towards stability and peace within a country – especially one amidst a devastating civil war. Likewise, proclamations of having the capacity to strike again surely will not motivate the end to a bloodbath.
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