By: I. Etlin
Since 2011, Syria has been in constant turmoil due an anti-regime uprising (ISIS, Kurdish forces) which led to a Civil War. Throughout these seven years, there were several economic and political sanctions imposed by the US and European Union, this include: US freezing Syrian government assets in the US and barring Americans from making new investments in the country, the EU banning the import of Syrian oil, the Arab league suspending Syria’s membership, and others. Syria has already been accused of using chemical weapons in 2013 and the former US president, Barack Obama, tried using military sanction and power but failed, later stating that he will not “put American boots on the ground in Syria.”
Unfortunately, on the 4th of April 2018 there was a suspected chemical attack on the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun in north-western Syria, where more than 80 people were killed and 541 people were injured. Witness and victims stated that they saw a yellow mushroom cloud rising that stung their eyes, others expressed that they saw an aircraft dropping a bomb. Further evidence was the symptoms that the victims suffered they varied from redness in eyes to foaming from the mouth. However, the Syrian government denied the use of chemical and toxic substances and expressed that the military never used them.
As a response to these suspected chemical attacks the United States, France and UK launched airstrikes in Syria on 13th of April, 2018. Trump’s justification for these airstrikes was a sustained effort to force the president of Syria, Bashar al-Assad, to stop using banned weapons. This was an extremely risky move, since it exposed the US to a possible confrontation with Russia and Iran (supporters of al-Assad). These recent events increased the already existing tension between Russia and USA, and pulled the US deeper into the complex multi sided war in Syria.