U.S. and Allies Bomb Syria; Trump Calls Out Russia and Iran for Supporting “Murderous” Dictator

In 2013, the Syrian government crossed then-President Barack Obama’s “red line.” How? By using chemical weapons against its own people.

Obama appeared ready to order a missile launch. But he hesitated. Then he allowed advisers to talk him out of it.

Instead, he chose “diplomacy.” Three years later, he said that move required “political courage.” He claimed it was the right decision. Because it led to the removal of chemical weapons from the Bashar al-Assad regime.

Well, in April of 2017 and April of 2018, chemical weapons were once again used against Assad’s own people. So much for getting rid of the weapons.

War of Words… Then Attack

Following the most recent attack, President Donald Trump said he would punish the Syrian government for its “barbaric” act.

The Russian ambassador to Lebanon then warned the U.S. and its allies that any missiles fired at Syria would be shot down. Trump responded by warning Russia not to get involved.

His Twitter post promised that missiles fired at Syria “will be coming, nice and new and smart.”

He added that the Kremlin should not partner with a “Gas Killing Animal who kills his own people and enjoys it!”

U.S.-Led Assault Targets Chemical Weapons Program

Trump, who responded with missiles in 2017, did the same thing Friday night. But with 105 missiles, this strike was reportedly twice the size of last year’s assault.

Flying out of Qatar, U.S. Air Force B-1 bombers were used in the bombing campaign. According to Marine Corps General Joe Dunford, “important infrastructure was destroyed.”

He added that sites associated with the Syrian chemical weapons program were both “targeted and destroyed.”

Trump called it “a combined operation with the armed forces of France and the United Kingdom.”

“Obviously, the Assad regime did not get the message last year,” said Defense Secretary James Mattis.

‘Judged by the Friends They Keep’

Following the strike, Trump addressed the nation. After telling Americans what the U.S. and its allies did, he called out Russia and Iran.

He referred to them as the “two governments most responsible for supporting, equipping and financing the Assad regime.”

“To Iran and to Russia, I ask, ‘What kind of a nation wants to be associated with the mass murder of innocent men, women and children?’

“The nations of the world can be judged by the friends they keep. No nation can succeed in the long run by promoting rogue states, brutal tyrants and murderous dictators.”

Russia Threatens ‘Consequences’

Russia did not take kindly to the attack or to Trump’s comments.

The Russian ambassador to the U.S. warned there would be consequences for the strikes on Syria. He added it was not acceptable to insult Russia’s president (Vladimir Putin).

“A pre-designed scenario is being implemented,” the ambassador tweeted. “Again, we are being threatened. We warned that such actions will not be left without consequences.”

Putin called it an “act of aggression against a sovereign state.”

Russia Says Chemical Attack Was ‘Staged’

Last week, Russia’s foreign minister said his country’s experts found no trace of chemical weapons. That was after they inspected the site near Damascus.

He claimed the alleged chemical attack was “staged.” Thanks to the help of a foreign intelligence agency.

“Intelligence agencies of a state that is now striving to spearhead a Russophobic campaign were involved with the fabrication,” the foreign minister said.

France Claims Proof of Chemical Weapons Use

But the French government announced it had proof the Syrian regime was responsible for the recent chemical attack. It reportedly killed approximately 50 people and injured hundreds.

NBC-TV reported that blood and urine samples from victims had traces of a nerve agent and chlorine. The report indicated that the Assad government was responsible.

The World Health Organization also chimed in. They said there were reports of about 500 people in Douma with symptoms similar to people exposed to toxic chemicals.

The organization added that 70 people had died while taking shelter in basements. And 43 of them had signs of exposure to highly toxic chemicals.

U.S.-Russia Relations ‘Worse’ Than Ever

Mattis said no follow-up attacks were planned. But Trump said the U.S. is prepared to “sustain” pressure on Assad. At least until he ends his criminal pattern of killing people with internationally banned chemical weapons.

Even before the U.S. military response Friday night, relations between the U.S. and Russia were not good.

“Our relationship with Russia is worse now than it has ever been, and that includes the Cold War,” the president tweeted last week.

“There is no reason for this,” he continued. “Russia needs us to help with their economy, something that would be very easy to do. And we all need nations to work together.”

It Looked Promising at First

Shortly after Trump’s election, Putin addressed the Russian parliament. He said, “We are prepared to cooperate with the new American administration.”

He added, “Mutual efforts by Russia and the United States in solving global and regional problems are in the interest of the entire world.”

A week after Trump took office, he spoke for nearly an hour by phone with Putin. Both governments called the conversation a step toward improvement of relations.

What Do You Think?

I’d like to know what you think about this situation.

Did Obama make the right decision in 2013 by trying to persuade Syria to get rid of its chemical weapons?

Or did Trump make the right decisions by bombing Syria in 2017 and last week. In order to make it as difficult as possible for Assad to use chemical weapons again?

Or, should Obama or Trump have taken a different course of action?

Leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts.


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