Syrian War Escalates

Syrian refugees flee after devastating attacks destroy neighborhoods and communities. Photo via Creative Commons.

For over seven years, Syria has found itself in a civil war that threatens the lives of many. According to mercycorps.org, more than half of Syria’s pre-war population has been killed or forced to flee. The initial outbreak occurred in 2011 as many citizens organized peaceful protests against their government and President Bashar al-Assad. They fought for democracy through peaceful protest but were met with open fire from their country’s military, leading to the beginning of this civil war.

In the past seven years, many Syrians have been exposed to chemical warfare, forcing them out of their homes. Due to this crisis, other countries have increased their involvement. The United States has ordered repeated missile attacks on Syria, with little success in resolving the conflict. In 2013, the Syrian government pledged to give up all of its chemical weapons due to threats from the US and Russia. According to former President Barack Obama in an interview with Time magazine later that year, the deal was “an imperfect solution, but…ninety-nine percent of huge chemical weapon stockpile[s] were removed without us having to fire a shot.” After this deal, the war continued and civilians were still being harmed, but chemical weapons had been removed from the situation for at least a few years.

The involvement of the US continues as recent central intelligence reports showed a return in the use and production of chemical weapons, resulting in ordered strikes from fifty-nine Tomahawk missiles on weapons bases in Syria on Friday, April 13, from current President Donald Trump. “The purpose of [the attack was] to establish a strong deterrent against the production, spread and use of chemical weapons,” stated the president in an interview with Time magazine. The Pentagon reports that this attack in particular didn’t result in any civilian deaths, but if the US continues to strike, many lives will be at stake. Officials from France, Britain, Russia, and the US continue to develop a plan of action to end the civil war in Syria while civilians continue to be massacred and forced out of their homes, increasing tension in Syria and across the globe.

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