A Look at US Missile Attack against Syria

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Publish Date : 06/13/2017 17:23
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A Look at US Missile Attack against Syria
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In April 2017, on the pretext of a chemical attack in Khan Sheykhoon, on the orders of US president Donald Trump, the US military launched 59 Tomahawk missiles from its ships in the Mediterranean at Syrian AlShaeerat Air Base in Hums Province, killing 9 civilians that included 5 children.

America reiterated that this attack was in response to “threat to national security”. Trump also said that the attack was in reaction to the suspicious chemical attack which Washington DC claims the Syrian government conducted using the said airbase.
The chemical attack took place in the town of Khan Sheykhoon in Idlib Province in Syria’s north-west, and left 86 people dead. This brought on extensive reactions from the international community. The rebels and some western countries, including the United States, blamed the Syrian government for this attack, but in a statement the Syrian military denied these allegations and stressed that to-date it had never used chemical weapons anywhere.

Rejecting the accusations, the Syrian foreign minister said: “The armed forces of this country not only have not used chemical weapons against the people, but they even haven’t used them against the terrorists, and shall not do so.” He added: “In the Syrian airstrike an ammunition dump containing chemical weapons belonging to Al Nusra Front was hit.” The Syrian government claims that it handed over its entire chemical weapons arsenal to the UN and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. Also Damascus on several occasions had warned of the rebels and terrorists having chemical weapons and the possibility of their use in civilian areas.
While Iran and Russian have condemned the US attack against Syria, and Russia announced that the military agreement with Washington DC which was with the aim of prevention of air incidents between the two militaries over Syrian airspace would be suspended. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and governments such as Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Australia, Germany and France supported the US action. Iranian foreign ministry spokesman said: “As the biggest victim of chemical weapons in contemporary times, Iran condemns any use of chemical weapons regardless of who the perpetrators and victims are.” He added: “Tehran deems the pretext for unilateral actions, dangerous, destructive and violation of customary international law principles.”

The pretext and type of attack shows the object was and is further from the empathy of the president of the United States towards Syrian children. If he truly felt empathy for the Syrian people, he would not have attempted to ban them from entering the United States. Also it is still not clear how these weapons reached Khan Sheykhoon, and would the United States behave the same way if it was Al Nusra Front or ISIS that used chemical weapons on innocent people in other parts of Syria?
With these explanations the United States has violated the Fourth Geneva Convention on the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War (1949) and it’s Additional Protocol (1977). Furthermore, the 1993 Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons prohibits all countries of the world from building, storing and use of chemical weapons. Also countries that possess these weapons have been asked to destroy their chemical weapons arsenal after a set period of time.

Among the countries of the world, the United States has one of the worst records on weapons of mass destruction or WMD. This country is among the first countries to produce chemical weapons and was the first and only country to use an atomic bomb during wartime. Also this country is one of the countries that has a huge arsenal of nuclear and chemical weapons. In practice the United States has acted very badly with regards to the international disarmament conventions. For example, the NPT commits the United States and other nuclear power countries to disarm their nuclear weapons. With regards to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Production of Chemical Weapons too, the United States has still not destroyed all its arsenal of chemical weapons. Whereas, according to the contents of the Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the United States had to fulfil its commitment by 2012. Now, as the world police, the United States launched a barrage of missiles against Syria on the pretext of the Khan Sheykhoon chemical attack, and all this while the US claim has still not been proven.
In the atomic bomb strikes on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan, the United States killed hundreds of thousands of civilians, both from the initial blasts and the radioactivity over the next months. Also in the Vietnam War, the United States poured over 75 million litres of Agent Orange on Vietnamese villages and destroyed millions of acres of forests. The effects of this poisonous chemical killed nearly 300,000 people in Vietnam and hundreds of thousands of children were born with disabilities or deformities.

Finally, Iran was one of the main victims of Saddam Hussein’s chemical attacks in the Enforced War. With the help of the United States, Saddam got hold of chemical weapons and in front of the eyes of the indifferent world, he used these lethal weapons against Iranian soldiers and civilians and Iraqi civilians. In those years, while the Baathist Iraqi military dropped various types of chemical weapons on the battlefields, on the orders of western governments, American and European companies were providing Saddam with powerful weapons to prevent this dictator of Baghdad getting defeated in the war against Iran. This behaviour by the west resulted in Saddam creating the human catastrophe in 1988 in the Iraqi town of Halabcha, killing more than 55,000 men, women and children.
In fact, in view of such a history, the United States surfaces in the world as world judge and leader and for the establishment of security for the international community, and punishes the Syrian government on accusations of the use of chemical weapons against civilians. But in the eight year war in which Iran became victim of Iraq’s chemical weapons, did the United States and other countries who defended the recent actions taken against Syria, do anything back then? Why didn’t the international community react when chemical weapons were being dropped on Iranian civilians, when the Fourth Geneva Convention and also the Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons are violated?

In an interview with Tasnim News Agency, American analyst Keith Preston stressed: “America’s recent attack against the Syrian airbase has been towards providing services in the interest of Israel in the region. There is evidence that that for years forces that support Israel have been putting notable pressures on Washington officials in America so that action is taken against Syria.” Continuing on he says: “With a lot of enthusiasm Trump gives importance to Israel’s interests in the region and intends to fully support Israel’s interests.” Furthermore following the US attack against Syria Trump said: “as a result of Assad’s actions, the refugees crisis was created and the region became unstable, which is a threat against the United States and its allies.”




By: Shabnam Arbabian
MS in international relations


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