by Pamela Williams
The town of Khan Sheikhoun in Syria’s northern Idib province has lost all control of its environment. Assad’s military loaded planes at the Syrian airbase with most likely Sarin gas, and flew like vampires in the night to attack the sleeping Idib. The United States Navy Intelligence tracked them on radar, and it has even been said Russia knew of this attack.
In 2013 Russia was awarded trust by the International community to see to it that Assad never used chemical weapons on his own people again. The world had watched in horror as Assad abused his own people with these attacks. Something had to be done, and the world did unite to do it. There was so much confusion in the process, but Assad did agree to abide by a plan Russia had created. Therefore, it was put upon Russia to be the steward of Assad.
The below was how the process ended:
- Does Russia have the power to persuade the Assad government to hand over its chemical weapons? asks the Guardian’s diplomatic editor Julian Borger. Michael Elleman, senior fellow at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, told him:
My concern is that the Russians don’t have that leverage on Assad. The other questions are how long is it going to take, will it involve just the weapons stockpile or the whole production programme, and who would maintain security while this process is under way?
- Syrian president Bashar al-Assad has hinted at terrorist reprisals against western interests in the event of a US strike against his country, saying he could not rule out that chemical weapons might be used. In an interview with broadcaster Charlie Rose, Assad insisted there was “not a shred of evidence” that his own government was responsible for the recent chemical attacks inside Syria, but suggested there could be chilling “repercussions” elsewhere in the region if the US intervened. Syria’s state news agency has a full transcript of the interview.
- Human Rights Watch has concluded that Syrian government forces were behind last month’s poison gas attack in Syria. It said it based the assessment on witness accounts, information on the likely source of the attacks, remnants of the weapons used and medical records of victims.
Thought so. So much for accidental plan. Putin said he and Obama had "indeed discussed” such poss. on sidelines G20 t.co/5e5mA6sWn3
— Laura Rozen (@lrozen) September 10, 2013
I wonder if Assad resented that control Russia had over him, although it seemed benign and helpful. It is also to be questioned if Assad could have been paranoid of an alliance between the US and Russia, possibly shutting him out. US Ambassador Nikki Haley had just announced that regime change in Syria was no longer a priority and the US focus would be ISIS.
Assad should have been relieved, as the Obama administration was intent on overthrowing him. However, there were some who were afraid that Assad would go back to his old ways without fear of retaliation. It is very difficult for humane people to understand such a person as Assad. It is for me, and I have to admit the research I have done today has shocked me. I should never allow myself to judge any circumstance with thorough research.
I know as I heard of the US strike on Syria last night, I was shocked and apprehensive of the situation the US was engaging in. In the morning light, I decided I would get all the facts I could.
— Dr. Zaher Sahloul (@sahloul) April 7, 2017
In another facet of this attack, Assad after dropping chemicals on his people, he proceeded to A few hours later, Syrian warplanes launched another airstrike on one of the medical clinics where victims of the first attack were being treated, the New York Times reports. Let that sink in for a moment: Bashar al-Assad gassed his own people, then bombed those desperately trying to save the lives of those suffering and dying from the chemicals.
The following has been recorded by the Syrian American Medical Society:
- killed at least 74 people — including 16 women and 23 children
- wounded over 350
- Videos and photos taken by activists and medics on the scene showed victims choking and fainting, some with foam coming out of their mouths
The world reacted, and in that reaction Obama was remembered:
The European Union and President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an of Turkey have condemned the attack and blamed the Syrian government. European Union diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini said the Assad regime bears “primary responsibility” for the attack. France has called for an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council, and the UN office responsible for chemical weapons is reportedly investigating the attack.
The White House condemned the attack as “heinous” and “reprehensible” and blamed the Obama administration for failing to be tougher on Assad.
“These heinous actions by the Bashar Assad regime are a consequence of the past administration’s weakness and irresolution,” press secretary Sean Spicer said. “President Obama said in 2012 that he would establish a ‘red line’ against the use of chemical weapons and then did nothing.”
We all remember Obama’s red line.
The former president failed to use force after Assad violated Obama’s self-declared “red line” and mounted a chemical attack near Damascus that killed roughly 1,000 people in 2013.
Obama also personally vetoed the advice of his entire national security team in 2012 and opted not to arm the moderate Syrian rebels when they were scoring significant battlefield wins against Assad.
President Trump has taken a strong lead in uniting the world against this type of atrocity. Assad and Russia must take heed now and realize President Trump and his Team will not stand by and watch innocent people die, as a brutal dictator murders his own people. Can you imagine not being able to close your eyes at night, fearing you will wake up to chemicals stifling and killing you and your family?
The below are the facts collected to inform all those, who are seeking clarification as I am:
- According to Trump, the targeted airbase is the location the US intelligence community believes was used to launch Tuesday’s chemical attack.
In a statement from his Mar-a-Lago estate, Trump defined the purpose of the strike somewhat narrowly: “Tonight, I ordered a targeted military strike on the airfield in Syria from where the chemical attack was launched. It is in the vital national security interest of the United States to prevent and deter the spread of chemical weapons.”
- The Pentagon’s initial assessment was that the strike severely damaged or destroyed Syrian aircraft and support infrastructure and equipment at the airfield. However, on Friday afternoon, the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that Syrian warplanes had taken off from that same airfield and launched airstrikes on countryside near Homs in Syria.
- The Pentagon informed Russia, the other big player in the Syrian war, of the strike in advance using its established “deconfliction channel” in an attempt to minimize Russian casualties.
- Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday denounced the US strike as “aggression against a sovereign state in violation of the norms of international law.” Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters that Putin believes the attack was done under a “trumped-up pretext,” according to Russian state-run news agency Sputnik.
- Moscow also announced that it would be strengthen Syria’s air defense systems as well as sending a warship to the eastern Mediterranean Sea near the area from which the two US destroyers launched the cruise missiles.
- Russia also said it was suspending an agreement that allows the US and Russia to coordinate their air operations in Syria so as to prevent accidental midair collisions between their aircraft.
- Top US lawmakers from both parties have signaled varying degrees of support for the strike. Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan deemed the strike “appropriate and just,” and Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called it “the right thing to do,” while calling for Trump to consult Congress about his strategy.
In conclusion, thus far, I support the above actions that President Trump and his Team have taken against a maniac and murderer, who does not have the right to destroy the lives of the Syrian people. In fact, I had read that Assad was loved by many of the his people. In saying that, you can see why one would question the horrific actions taken by Bashar Assad on the people of Syria. What we must realize at this point is although Assad was elected by the Syrian people as President, they clearly were pressed to do so. I pray they recover from this brutalization and go forward to find a better world awaiting them. Hopefully our Country can help to bring this into fruition, as I see further actions taking place against Assad.
I know we have Russia to deal with, but they betrayed the world by failing to deal with Assad and his chemical weapons. This attack has occurred under their watch.
Published on Apr 5, 2017
Remarks by Ambassador Nikki Haley, Permanent Representative to the United Nations at an Emergency UN Security Council Meeting on Chemical Weapons in Syria on April 5, 2017. A transcript is available at usun.state.gov/remarks/7745.