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Syria Chemical Attack

April 16, 2018

Photo from Euronews

President Donald Trump has promised to react strongly to a chemical attack made against Syrian citizens in the city of Douma on April 7th, in the latest development of a civil war that has been dragging on for the last seven years. Over 500 citizens have exhibited symptoms that imply a chemical attack, but both rebel groups and the Syrian government deny launching a chemical attack or using chemical weapons at all. In all, about 70 people have lost their lives thus far in the aftermath of the incident, with witnesses claiming that they heard falling objects, and smelled a chemical similar to chlorine. Shortly after the outbreak, rebels in Douma agreed to9 hand the city over, and have relocated to an area still outside of government control. Despite the government’s denials, however, the Bashar al-Assad regime has used chemical weapons before, including chlorine compounds, inspiring healthy skepticism regarding al-Assad’s claims that the attack had nothing to do with his government.

President Trump, however, is not convinced. After the attack, President Trump threatened the use military force to quell the area, openly threatening the Syrian government with bombs, while Vladimir Putin and Russia have vowed to shoot down any bombs that come Syria’s way. Meanwhile, US officials have announced that they cannot tell who used the chemical weapon, but have confirmed that a chlorine compound was indeed the cause of casualties in Douma. In the meantime, Trump has taken to Twitter to rattle sabers once again, saying that bomb strikes on Syria may be coming “very soon or not so soon at all.”

Outside of the US, Western powers in Europe seem to be furious. French President Emmanuel Macron says France has “evidence” that the chemical attack was perpetrated by the al-Assad regime. British Prime Minister Theresa May urged Parliament in the UK to agree to “take action” against the use of chemical weapons in Syria, though no specific strategy has been decided on as of the time of this article. In addition, Prime Minister May has offered to continue to work closely with President Trump in order to ensure a unified front if and when action is taken. On the other side of the continent, however, Russia has stood by Syria, and refuse to condemn the actions of the nation and its leader.

The United Nations Security Council has announced that an emergency meeting will be held to discuss next steps, but the attack has undoubtedly undone what little progress had been made in Syria.

Anthony Adams
Political Editor

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