Here’s a brief summary of the occurrences in Syria, this article will be updated continuously as news is released.
The US Secretary of Defense warned NATO’s Secretary-General about the missile strikes that targeted Shayrat Airfield.
Shayrat Airfield was used to launch the horrific chemical attack on Tuesday.
Additionally, Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis released a statement following the missile strikes in Syria: “Russian forces were notified in advance of the strike using the established deconfliction line. U.S. military planners took precautions to minimise risk to Russian or Syrian personnel located at the airfield.”
The World Health Organisation, Doctors Without Borders, Turkey and the US lean towards the use of chemical weapons.
The substances are believed to be sarin gas – a G-series volatile nerve agent that causes loss of consciousness, convulsions, paralysis, respiratory failure, and eventually, death – and chlorine gas – used during WWI, prompts asphyxia.
Victims of the attack showed signs of nerve gas exposure, the World Health Organization and Doctors Without Borders said, including suffocation, foaming at the mouth, convulsions, constricted pupils and involuntary defecation. Medical teams also reported smelling bleach on survivors of the attack, suggesting chlorine gas was also used, Doctors Without Borders said.
The deaths caused by the attack in Khan Sheikhoun, a rebel-held town in Idlib province in northern Syria, are said to be at least 58, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights – however, the death toll seems to have increased to over 72, suggests ABC News.
Who’s fault is the chemical attack?
President Donald J. Trump, British Ambassador Matthew Rycroft and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan blame Bashar al-Assad, rightly so, it wouldn’t be the first time that the Syrian President had gone ahead with atrocious and “heinous actions” (read: Ghouta chemical attack, August 21, 2013).
On the other hand, Moscow insists the assault was caused by a Syrian air strike that hit a rebel stockpile of chemical arms. However, Charles Lister, a senior fellow at the US-based Middle East Institute ruled out Russia’s version of events as he classified it “chemically impossible”.
“First of all, nobody in their right mind would ever store both components of a binary nerve agent in the same building,” he told CNN.
“And secondly, even if they were stored together and then targeted, blowing them up would not result in any active nerve agent.”
Lister’s explanation is supported by British chemical expert Colonel Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, who added that “immolating sarin eliminates sarin.”
Less than 24 hours after the US missile strike, Syrian Air-force resumes flight operations.
Donald Trump ordered a missile strike on Shayrat Airfield. 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles had been launched from guided-missile destroyers USS Ross and USS Porter positioned in the eastern Mediterranean and the Pentagon estimates that approximately 20 aircraft were destroyed.
Just a day later, the air base reopens and strikes Idlib – the rebel-held province that was the site of the chemical attack – killing no less than 18 civilians.
Nikki Haley, US Ambassador to the UN speaks out.
“Regime change is something that we think is going to happen because all of the parties are going to see that Assad is not the leader that needs to be taking place for Syria.”
She also adds that the United States is prepared to do more as [they] cannot picture a peaceful Syria with Assad as the head of the government.
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