Why We Cannot Cease Aggression Towards Syria

The Syrian Regime is in a state of chaos, yet we cannot easily dismiss the actions of President Assad

Photo+from%3A+nationalinterest.org.

Photo from: nationalinterest.org.

Robert Sunseri, Staff Reporter

The Syrian Civil war has been raging on for eight years, starting in March of 2011. President of Syria, Bashar al-Assad has been in office since 2000, and as much as I want to give him a break for attempting to rule a country in such turmoil, he has committed some undeniably evil and inhumane actions.

Because the United States knew without a doubt that Assad was killing women, children, and other innocent persons, they had the right to retaliate.”

Syrian boy holds gas mask over baby after chemical attack. Photo by Hasan Mohamed.

On the 13th of April, 2018, the United States, United Kingdom, and France launched missiles directed towards Syria. Hours before the three countries launched strikes, the White House issued a press release concerning the use of chemical weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic. The statement confirms the allegations against Syria and emphasizes the fact that the chemical weapons were used on innocent civilians: “The United States assesses with confidence that the Syrian regime used chemical weapons in the eastern Damascus suburb of Duma on April 7, 2018, killing dozens of men, women, and children, and severely injuring hundreds more.”  Because the United States knew without a doubt that Assad was killing women, children, and other innocent persons, they had the right to retaliate. The missiles launched by the U.S. were directed towards facilities that produced chemical weapons. Although this aggression did not severely affect Syria’s ability to create more chemical weapons, it served as a ruthless warning to Assad that the United States isn’t afraid to take action.

Assad’s use of banned substances last April is just one of many such occurrences. In August of 2013, witnesses say Syrian officials in helicopters dropped barrels of a banned substance named Sarin in regions near Damascus—the capital of Syria. It was later in December that the United Nations ended its investigation into the matter and confirmed that Syria had attacked its own people. They concluded that “chemical weapons have been used in the ongoing conflict between the parties in the Syrian Arab Republic, not only in the Ghouta area of Damascus on 21 August 2013.” Assad was still the leader of Syria in 2013, which proves he has a tendency to execute these unsolicited attacks on his own people. UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, even warned the Assad Regime that the United States was prepared to take action if any nation were to use banned weapons, saying, “We warn any nation determined to impose its will through chemical attacks and inhuman suffering, but most especially the outlaw Syrian regime, the United States remains prepared to act if we must.” The only other leaders to use chemical weapons on their own people were Saddam Hussein and Adolf Hitler. The ongoing use of these banned substances proves that Assad needs to be stopped or controlled in some way.

Well, whether we like it or not, we are still in a war against terror. The sooner we terminate threats to global humanitarian wellbeing, the sooner our troops can come home. ”

Skeptics argue that the United States should not interfere with Syrian affairs. One analyst, Richard Sokolsky, says, “No matter how important Syria is to the United States … Washington needs to decide how much it’s prepared to sacrifice and whether it’s ready to stay the course when Iran and Russia push back.” Although Sokolsky, as well as other concerned Americans, make a compelling argument, I feel it is worth risking some political conflicts when hundreds of innocent lives are at stake. The United States White House press release says in its statement, “If not stopped, Syria has the ability to produce and use more chemical weapons.”

You may be asking, How does this affect me? Well, whether we like it or not, we are still in a war against terror. The sooner we terminate threats to global humanitarian well-being, the sooner our troops can come home. I personally know many people in the military that have been or are going to be stationed overseas in the Middle East.

Although things do not look good for the state of Syria and its relations with the United States, there is hope. On March 7, 2019, human rights lawyers have filed a war crimes case against Assad through the International Criminal Court (ICC). To learn more about this case and the ICC, visit this site.