JaydenChin, Staff Reporter
On the morning of April 13th the United States joined forces with Britain and France to launch a joint missile strike on three chemical research and storage facilities in both Damascus and Homs, Syria. The strike was coordinated in response to a chemical weapon attack by the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Syrian civilians on April 7th in the city of Douma. The Russian military reported that the Syrian chemical facilities only suffered minor damage, which claimed that Syria’s air defense systems shot down 71 of the 103 missiles before they hit their targets. A director of the Joint Staff at the Pentagon has denied Russia’s claim, saying that no missiles launched by the U.S. and its allies were shot down. Although no civilian casualties have been reported following the attacks, the target sites were all located in residential areas, hinting that American news sources may be lying.
Many are asking what the purpose of the airstrikes were and what the aftermath will entail. The attack was suddenly carried out that morning with the purpose of destroying Syria’s known chemical weapon facilities which have held a major role in chemical research nationwide for years. The Syrian army will undoubtedly get the message regarding their use of such heinous weapons, but the airstrikes will have no major effect on the trajectory of the conflict. President Trump’s abrupt decision to strike was by Russian President, Vladimir Putin, who is responsible for Russia’s strong alliance with Syria. Putin warned Trump that launching the missiles on Syria will have a destructive effect on international relations and will cause instability for the whole global system. Putin even informed Trump that, “Russian forces will intercept and shoot down any missiles that the U.S. launches at Syria.” Trump then responded by posting one of his humorous tweets that said, “Get ready Russia, missiles are coming,”.
The people of the United States expected nothing less from Trump. You would think that the leader of the free world should listen to the crucial advice given by the most powerful man in the world but knowing Trump it was almost certain that he would carry out with his plans. Many find it extremely ironic how Trump,is also extremely ironic how Trump, who has done immeasurable damage to American democratic norms, is standing up for international norms. Around 70 Syrian civilians were killed in the Douma chemical attacks, but roughly half a million civilians have been killed during the past seven years of civil war in Syria. The 107 tomahawk missiles launched by the U.S. and its allies, which cost around 1.4 million dollars each, ultimately changed nothing for the sake of the Syrian people. Although Russian officials stated that the destruction of Assad’s chemical weapon infrastructure won’t upset them too much, they will continue to protest any further attacks on Syria by the United States. The attacks were simply Trump’s way of telling Russia and Putin that despite their war and political victories, the United States will always remain in the game.