World View: Trump Threatens ‘Big Price to Pay’ After Assad’s Chemical Weapons Attack in Syria

The Associated Press
The Associated Press

This morning’s key headlines from

  • New chemical weapon attack in Syria kills 48, hospitalizes hundreds
  • Trump threatens ‘big price to pay’ after Assad’s chemical weapons attack in Syria
  • Syria reports that it’s under missile attack, ‘likely’ by the US

New chemical weapon attack in Syria kills 48, hospitalizes hundreds

Medical workers treat toddlers following chlorine gas attack in Douma, Syria, on Sunday (AP)
Medical workers treat toddlers following chlorine gas attack in Douma, Syria, on Sunday (AP)

At least 48 people were killed in a chemical weapons attack on Saturday on the town of Douma in Eastern Ghouta, believed by international officials to have been perpetrated by Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad.

In addition to those killed, at least 500 more people were brought into overwhelmed medical centers and hospitals. Videos recorded by rescue workers known as the White Helmets show a number of men, women, and children lying lifeless, many with foam at their mouths.

The chemical weapon in the attack was chlorine, which is particularly used by al-Assad to attack and kill women and children. Chlorine is repeatedly used by al-Assad because it is heavier than air. Therefore it seeps into basements where women and children are likely to be hiding from al-Assad’s missiles and barrel bombs. Once the chlorine seeps into the basements where women and children are hiding, the women and children are forced out into the open, where al-Assad’s missiles and barrel bombs can slaughter them en masse. The foaming at the mouth by victims suggests that Sarin gas was also used.

Syrian state media accused “terrorist” media of fabricating reports about a chemical attack.

Russia’s foreign ministry said reports of a chemical attack by Syrian forces on Douma had been “planted” in order to create a pretext for a possible military intervention in Syria:

The purpose of these mendacious conjectures, which are without any basis, is to shield the terrorists and the irreconcilable radical opposition, which rejects a political settlement, while at the same time trying to justify possible external use of force.

So we are going through the usual song and dance of listening to Russian officials make these laughable statements, as if the rest of us are stupid enough to believe them. Russian officials have lied so many times about almost every subject, so anything that Russia says has no credibility, and is as worthless as garbage.

And we can expect the usual flood of Russian internet trolls repeating the same nonsense supplied by their trollmasters.

During the past 15 months, since Donald Trump took office, there Bashar al-Assad has launched at least eight chemical weapons attacks, including one Sarin gas nerve agent attack on April 4 of last year. BBC and AP and CNN and USA Today

Trump threatens ‘big price to pay’ after Assad’s chemical weapons attack in Syria

President Donald Trump called Bashar al-Assad an “animal” in a series of tweets on Sunday, and appeared to commit the US to retaliating to Sunday’s attack, not only against Syria but possibly also at Russia.

In 2012, President Barack Obama announced a “red line” that threatened an American military retaliation if Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons on his own people. The U.S. military even sent troops to Jordan to take action against the use of chemical weapons. However, when Bashar al-Assad used Sarin gas on his own people in 2013, Obama backed down from his threat, signaling to al-Assad that he could continue to use chemical weapons with impunity. And he has done that, with eight verified uses of chlorine gas and Sarin gas in the last 15 months alone.

A year ago, Donald Trump responded to al-Assad’s Sarin gas attack with a surprise cruise missile attack on al-Assad’s airports, wiping out part of his air force. However, that did nothing to stop al-Assad from continuing to use chemical weapons on women and children, or to stop Russia from supporting his use of chemical weapons on women and children.

Sunday’s chemical weapons attack drew a very angry twitter response from president Trump:

Many dead, including women and children, in mindless CHEMICAL attack in Syria. Area of atrocity is in lockdown and encircled by Syrian Army, making it completely inaccessible to outside world. President Putin, Russia and Iran are responsible for backing Animal Assad. Big price … to pay. Open area immediately for medical help and verification. Another humanitarian disaster for no reason whatsoever. SICK!

If President Obama had crossed his stated Red Line In The Sand, the Syrian disaster would have ended long ago! Animal Assad would have been history!

Trump appears to be setting a new red line and is blaming Russia’s president Vladimir Putin for the first time, as well as referring to “Animal Assad.” If Trump shows weakness after issuing these tweets, then his negotiating position in North Korea will be very weak.

The U.S. has also called for an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council on Monday.

The most likely response, if any, is a missile attack similar to the one launched last year. However, some analysts are suggesting that Russia should be sanctioned directly by withdrawing the highly prestigious international World Cup Football (soccer) competition sponsored by the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) from Moscow, where it is scheduled to begin on June 14. Some people are suggesting that Vladimir Putin should not be permitted the glory in sponsoring the FIFA World Cup just two months after sponsoring the use of chemical weapons by war criminal Bashar al-Assad. CNN and NBC News and Guardian (London)

Syria reports that it is under missile attack, ‘likely’ by the U.S.

As this article is being written on Sunday evening (ET), Syria’s state media is reporting that Syria’s T4 airbase (Tayfur airport) near the city of Homs is under missile attack, with resulting casualties, in a “likely attack by the United States.” Reports say that 12 people have been killed, and that eight missiles were shot down by Syrian air defenses.

Senior U.S. officials are not denying that a missile attack is taking place, but are denying that the U.S. is responsible. Assuming that it is not the U.S. launching missiles, then it suggests that another country in the American-led coalition is launching the missile attack.

Governments from both Britain and France on Sunday both joined in America’s strong condemnation of al-Assad’s use of chlorine gas on his own people, including women and children. Both countries have also issued strong condemnations of Russia for the March 4 poisoning of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, using a Russia-developed nerve agent Novichok, in Salisbury, Britain. Trump and France’s president Emmanuel Macron issued a “strong joint response” to al-Assad. So it’s possible that either Britain or France is launching the attack. It’s also possible that Israel is launching the attack. BBC

Related Articles

KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Syria, Eastern Ghouta, Douma, Bashar al-Assad, Russia, Sarin gas, chlorine gas, Donald Trump, Barack Obama, Vladimir Putin, World Cup, Fédération Internationale de Football Association, FIFA, Tayfur airport, T4 airbase, Homs, Britain, France
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