By Jayla Silva

It has been nearly a century since World War I, and after everything the world has been through and accomplished over time, it is still on the brink of World War III. The recent crisis in Syria has sparked outrage across the globe, and it even caused the United States government to intervene by releasing numerous airstrikes targeting airfields in Syria.

In the early morning of April 4, over eighty people died, and many were injured, from a chemical attack in Syria. Innocent civilians suffered and many children died from the bombings. Videos went viral on the Internet showing those suffering convulsing, choking, and gasping for air. Rescue workers feverishly tried to hose people off with water in attempt to remove any chemicals that may have been on their bodies. Some of these workers who were exposed to the chemicals also died while trying to save others.  

Assad, the President of Syria, denied any involvement in the chemical attacks. He claimed that his military was not responsible, and that he had no knowledge of any chemical weapons in his artillery. Others believe that an airstrike had hit a building full of chemicals which caused the outbreak. This claim is supported by Russia, who believes that the toxic substances were responsible for the deaths and injuries of so many people. There is a lot of controversy surrounding this claim, especially due to the fact that there was another airstrike on an area treating victims of the attacks. The area that was hit was known to be an area with rebels and refugees, both of which the Syrian government does not like.

President Trump believed that it was smart to retaliate and show that the United States does not tolerate such heinous acts on innocent people. The airstrikes did kill a few people in Syria, but were primarily meant for Syrian airfields not civilians. The United States actions against Syria got a lot of mixed reviews from U.S. citizens, as well as foreign diplomats. One of President Trump’s closest friends, Russian President Vladimir Putin, spoke out on U.S. airstrikes. He, as well as many others, believe that the U.S. President was reckless and wrong  to get involved. President Trump did act quite quickly, without conversing with others who may be affected by an attack on Syria.

Everyone reacted quite differently to the President’s actions, and although it was supposed to be an act of heroism, it just brought about more tension and conflict. Americans in particular are angry because during his campaign, President Trump said that he would keep the U.S. out of foreign conflicts in order to maintain some sort of neutrality. Last fall, President Trump said he wanted to focus on defeating ISIS rather than getting involved in Syria with the removal of President Assad. There has been talk about peace treaties between countries in the Middle East, and this attack definitely diminished them.

Since the chemical attacks and the U.S. airstrikes, many have been talking about the idea of World War III. How realistic is this? Some think that the Syrian crisis is a strong enough cause for war. U.S. intervention in foreign affairs is quite common, and since this action was for a relatively good cause, the chance of WWIII occurring is slight. The purpose of the U.S. airstrikes was to prevent more war and violence. It was not a signal that the U.S. wanted to start a war within the Middle East or around the world. The Trump administration, however, does say they will take further actions if necessary. War is not ideal, and is not the solution to such a complex problem. The crossing of international borders and violation of international policies is what is causing the U.S. to take a lot of heat and criticism.

The people of Syria are at the very least terrified. With the chemical attacks first, then the airstrikes from the United States, Syrians are unsure of what will happen next. Many believe that the only way to save Syria and to keep its people safe and away from war, is to remove President Assad from power. Any form of peace will be nearly impossible to reach and accomplish with this administration still in control. Diplomats all over the world want to figure out everything by getting the facts, but without any intervention, especially by U.S. forces.

There is no solution in sight for the crisis in Syria. The U.S. has been discouraged to get any more involved, especially with major military actions. The airstrikes also diminished the relationship between the United States and Russia, which can cause issues further down the line even aside from the crisis in Syria. The world has been shaken up by recent attacks, however, the chance of a war breaking out is slim with the current state of the global environment.