Syrian Civil War

Why did the Syrian government launch a chemical attack on its people?


This picture depicts the terrible state of the country due to the effects of the civil war.

Cristina Himelhoch, Staff Writer

The Syrian Civil War is an ongoing conflict that has been dragging on for seven years. It began due to pro-democratic ideals that formed among groups of rebels. This all started in March of 2011 when peaceful protests began after 15 young boys were tortured and one was killed for writing graffiti to show their support of a revolt organization called Arab Spring. The Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, expressed his distaste for the Arab Spring by imprisoning and killing more rebels. The civil war began to unfold when groups of citizens who defected from the military organized the Free Syrian Army to enable them to overpower the oppressive government. The protests also stem from the minimal freedoms that the Syrian people have and the poor economy. About 400,000 people have lost their lives during this long battle and 5 million people have fled to other countries as refugees.

On April 4th, the Syrian government used chemical weapons in an attack against its people. This was one of the deadliest and worst chemical bombings the country has yet to see. Around 100 men, women, and children were killed due to this attack.  More suffered serious injuries from breathing in the chemicals. This attack left people gasping for air and struggling to breathe as they collapsed helplessly into the streets. Hospitals were chaotic because of the flood of people seeking medical attention.

The United States responded to this horrific event by sending 59 Tomahawk missiles on April 6th to hit a Syrian airbase that was linked to the government’s launch of the chemical attack. This is the first time that the United States has taken any military action regarding the civil war in Syria. Six people were killed after President Trump ordered this military act. This military act was disapproved of by Russia who called it an “act of aggression” and President Bashar al-Assad’s office who called it a “disgraceful act” (Trump Launches Military Attack Against Syria). There has been a lot of controversy concerning President Trump’s decision to launch the missiles, but in general, most of Congress has supported his decision as Commander in Chief of the armed forces. His action has caused a change on his position of whether or not the United States should take action against President Assad. During his presidential campaign, he was against taking military action against the Syrian President; so clearly, his position on this matter has changed due to recent events. President Trump addressed his actions by saying that he “felt a responsibility to respond.” He also pointed out the brutality of the Syrian government when he said “when you kill innocent children — innocent babies — babies — little babies with a chemical gas that is so lethal, people were shocked to hear what gas it was, that crosses many, many lines. Beyond a red line, many, many lines.”

This truly was a horrific event that will be remembered throughout history. As the Syrian people continue fighting for their rights, the world watches, waits to see what will happen next, and plans actions accordingly.