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How should America respond to Syria's use of chemical weapons — GEORGE WILL

15 Abril 2018, 06:47 | Bibiana Flor

"Get ready, Russia." Trump warns of military action in Syria

Trump's Syria whiplash

Without naming Syria and its close ally Russia - who have both denied that chemical weapons were used at Douma - the WHO reminded "parties to the conflict" that there is an outright ban on the use of chemical weapons under international law. Moscow warned against any strikes and threatened to retaliate. Assad has maintained his bloody dictatorship by destroying the country, killing hundreds of thousands of his people, and forcing almost half of the original population of 22 million people into displacement.

Konashenkov said that "powerful pressure from London was exerted on representatives of the so-called White Helmets to quickly stage the premeditated provocation".

Such weapons, and especially mustard gas, which blistered skin and lungs, seemed so sinister that the 1925 Geneva Protocol banned their use in war, but not their development. "It's some of the worst piece of fake news we've yet seen from the Russia propaganda machine".

The U.S. ambassador in Moscow, John Huntsman, said in a video, "Before we took action, the United States communicated with" Russia to "reduce the danger of any Russian or civilian casualties". He didn't elaborate or name the state. Multiple IS terror attacks have targeted France, including one last month.

The seven-year war in Syria, with estimates of death tolls in the 400,000 range, is as intractable as it is barbaric.

Parliament refused U.K. participation in a planned punitive raid on Syria in 2013, one of the reasons then-U.S. President Barack Obama called off the raid and left the French high and dry.

Trump's threat of retaliatory military action prompted a slew of Russian comments warning that U.S. strikes could trigger a direct military clash between them. Putin and Macron instructed their foreign and defence ministers to maintain close contact to "de-escalate the situation", the Kremlin said.

The report further added that UN aid agencies do not have access to eastern Ghouta, including Douma, where the attack occurred. Neither is pretending that there was forethought behind the current U.S. president's promise of a "big price" that Syria must brace itself to pay.

The Jaish al-Islam group in Douma agreed on Sunday to withdraw, hours after a suspected chemical weapons attack on the town that has raised the prospect of US strikes.

Trump's Syria whiplash

"They are the guarantors of law and order in the town", RIA news agency quoted Russia's defense ministry as saying.

"It is highly likely that the regime is responsible for Saturday's attack", a Downing Street spokesman said in a readout of a Cabinet meeting that May convened Thursday evening in London.

These two ships, possibly aided by a US submarine, are likely to play a role in a strike.

Any military move against Syrian government forces carries numerous risks. "I don't know what to do".

The ongoing deliberations reflected the conundrum Trump faces as he contemplates wading further into Syria's multi-sided civil war.

It was not clear whether Trump and U.S. allies would wait for the results of the investigation before deciding on a strike.

But British Prime Minister Theresa May said there was little doubt the Syrian government used a barrel bomb - large containers packed with fuel, explosives and scraps of metal - to deliver the chemicals at Douma. The Iraqi society was relatively stable, and relations among the three major factions in Iraq-Sunnis, Shia and Kurds-were managed relatively peacefully although anger against the Saddam dictatorship was seething.

"That significantly limits the number of options available to the United States, because the Russians are embedded in many cases with the Syrians".



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