Syria Hit by America, France, and the United Kingdom

Stratis Bohle

The April 7th chemical attack in the Syrian city of Douma has brought condemnation from many countries including the United States. The use of chemical weapons has been against international law since the 1925 Geneva Convention, which was further restricted by the Chemical Weapons Convention of 1997. Only three countries have not signed as of March 2018: North Korea, Egypt, and South Sudan. In response to this blatant disregard of international conventions and promises made by Syrian Government in their attack of civilians and combatants, the United States along with France and the U.K. launched missiles at three targets.

All together, 103 missiles were fired, 71 of which Russia says was intercepted by the Syrian army. The three targets reported were a scientific research facility in Damascus, a chemical weapons storage facility west of Homs and a chemical weapons equipment storage site, that is also an important command post, near Homs. The United States stated this would be the last of the strikes in retaliation to the chemical attacks.

Prime Minister Theresa May of the U.K. has received backlash for the attack at home. Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn has called for a new War Powers act after he felt that the Prime Minister disregarded parliamentary precedence after the 2003 Iraq War vote. On Monday the 16th, protesters were outside as Parliament debated whether the action was legal. Later in the evening, members of Parliament voted that it was indeed legal.

All members of NATO have supported the military strikes, even those that declined to participate. Israel supported the strike, calling the use of chemical weapons to be crossing the red line. Russia, Syria, and Iran have all denounced the strike, with Russia issuing a resolution to the UN Security Council which was rejected, and Iran calling the strikes a “crime”.