By: Connor Joyce
In a public statement on Friday, April 13th President Donald Trump told the nation that he authorized attacks by the U.S. Military forces on suspected Syrian government chemical facilities. The stemming of chemical weapon use is something that the President has said is vital to the National Security of the US. The allied strike was conducted to seriously cripple the Syrian government’s ability to produce biological weapons. The strike was a direct response to an alleged chemical weapons attack conducted by the Syrian government on its civilians last week. The chemical weapons attack was carried in the early hours of April 4th, officials had said, in a suburb of Damascus. Because of the attack, the civilian death count has been reported at over 40 by multiple outlets. The attack is the latest in many chemical attacks by the Syrian government on innocent civilians and “rebel groups” that have received condemnation from the international community.
The United States was not the only county to conduct strikes on the suspected Syrian government storage and control facilities. They were joined by fellow United Nations and N.A.T.O allies, France and the United Kingdom, in over dozens of precision strikes. In total, over 100 missiles were fired at and effectively destroyed the targeted Assad Regime facilities. In a statement, General Mattis exclaimed, “It was clear the Assad regime did not get the message in last year’s strikes. Hopefully, he gets it this time.” Trump stated that these strikes were strategically aimed at Syrian chemical facilities to cripple their weapons capabilities including a control and storage facility, a manufacturing facility, and a research facility while at the same time the allied forces tried to keep Russian and pro-government forces out of the line as fire as much as possible.
Tensions between Russia and N.A.T.O forces have been at dangerous highs of late, particularly in the dispute over airstrikes and retaliation towards the Assad regime where the Russians have even threatened to shoot N.A.T.O. drones and bombers out of the sky. In his statement to the public, President Trump also gave a warning to Russia and Iran to disassociate with the Assad regime to avoid conflict with the U.S. and its allies. He continued to condemn Russia on the nation’s lack of action in preventing further chemical strikes from the Syrian government and that Putin had broken a promise that he had made to the United Nations, to prevent all further chemical attacks.
Russian officials responded on Friday calling the strikes an “aggressive attack” by the United States and attempted to push through a resolution in the UN Security Council to condemn the United States for its actions. However, Russian ambassadors were denied after only receiving one additional vote to condemn the US from Bolivia. Tensions are expected to remain high after the United States has said that it is prepared to attack again in response to any new chemical attacks, and Russia has continued to say that it is not afraid to use force against N.A.T.O. in response to any further aggression towards longtime ally Assad. Trump has made it clear that he wants any issues between the two large powers to be resolved peacefully.