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Tuesday, April 4, 2017

More Gas Attacks In Syria

CNN is reporting that there was another major attack using poison gas in Syria.  There are large numbers of casualties after planes dropped the chemical weapons on a village in a province that abuts the Turkish border.  Since the village is under the control of the non-ISIS rebels and came from planes, that leaves only the Assad forces, the Russians and the Iranians as possible culprits in the attack.  Given that trio, it seems almost certain that the attackers were the Assad forces.  Iran has not had planes above Syria, and the Russians would never risk using their own planes to drop chemical weapons even if they supported the attack.

Of  course, we have to consider that since the report comes from CNN, it may all be Fake News.

If we take the report at face value, however, this is a major moment for the new American foreign policy under President Trump.  The President has never announced any position regarding the use of chemical weapons by Assad, but president Obama certainly did.  Obama said such use would be a red line not to be crossed; then when Assad ignored the warning and used such weapons, Obama did nothing.  If there is proof that Assad used the chemical weapons, it would be appropriate for the USA to send planes to attack the Assad air base from which the attack originated.  That could be coupled with a warning that further use of chemical weapons will bring much stronger counter measures.

There is no doubt that if President Trump retaliates against Assad for the illegal use of chemical weapons (it's a war crime), the Democrats will start screaming about Trump being trigger happy or something like that.  It does not matter.  Sometimes, stopping a horror like the use of chemical weapons is more important that worrying about the politics of the moment.

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