The latest civilian-target- ed chemical weapons attack launched by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad prompted a re- taliation by the U.S., France, and the United Kingdom of 105 mis- siles, despite Russia’s efforts to prevent military action. These missiles targeted two locations near the west of Homs and a re- search center in the Damascus area. President Trump said that Assad’s attack last week “was a significant escalation in a pat- tern of chemical weapons use by that very terrible regime” in his address to the nation on Friday. This joint retaliation marks an- other move in the proxy war be- tween Russia and the west hidden within the confines of the Syrian War.
The Human Rights Watch, an international non-governmental organization that manages re- search and advocacy on behalf of human rights, has reported 85 chemical weapon attacks in Syria since 2013. However, the Syrian Arab Republic has only confirmed 34 of these incidents. However, Russia has not been willing to punish the sovereign nation of Syria and has argued that any effort by the U.S. to do so would only be to support a national interest in overthrowing the Assad regime. Russia’s defense carried into the United Nations last week as the security council met to design a response to Assad’s attacks, using their veto power to halt any attempt to punish Syria through UN diplomacy. However, as the U.S. acted outside of U.N. confines and launched their joint attack with the U.K. and France, Russia also attempt- ed to end their efforts, bringing a new proposal to the security council. In condemnation of the U.S., the U.K., and France, Russia proposed a draft suggesting that the aggression against Syria by the U.S. and its allies was in violation of international law and the U.N. charter. The draft also demanded that “the US and its allies immediately and with- out delay cease the aggression against the Syrian Arab republic” and “refrain from any further use of force in violation of international law and the U.N. charter.”
The U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Nikki Haley, has been dili- gent in responding to Russia’s efforts warning that the next time Assad uses chemical weapons on Syrian civilians, the U.S. is “locked and loaded” to strike. She accused Russia of fight- ing on behalf of and protecting Syria, making it very clear that any further action by either the Assad regime or Russia would be taken as a direct threat to the U.S. and prompt the appropriate responses.
This has been the second U.S. military action in Syria, the first being Trump’s 59 Tomahawk missile strike on the Shayrat Airbase in April of 2017. Haley also remarked that “when our president draws a red line, our president enforces the red,” a statement indirectly calling out former president Obama for his empty threats, making it known to the international community that Trump was not one to be reasoned with.