The Big Price

Allie Pickert, Writer

At least 70 people were killed in a chemical attack on Douma, a rebel stronghold near Syria’s capital, and hundreds were affected. Most of the deaths were women and children as the White Helmets, a group of rescuers, concluded. Raed al-Saleh, leader of the group of rescuers, says, “Seventy people suffocated to death and hundreds are still suffocating.” According to Al-Saleh, chlorine gas and an unidentified gas were dropped on Douma.

Questions of who launched this attack are circulating in the air. Some say Syria dropped the gases, the US government warned Syria about a global response if these rumors were found to be true. The Syrian government denies any role in the attack, calling¬†these rumors¬†fabrications. Nonetheless, President Trump claims Syria will pay a “big price” if they are found guilty.

The United States’ allies are backing the president on his warnings towards Syria. In fact, France has already warned that it would respond with strikes against Syria’s forces if evidence is found proving their involvement in the attack. Unfortunately, Russia does not share the US’s allies’ conviction. Russia says there will be severe repercussions against any Western involvement in Syria.

Another unfortunate thing is the president’s inability to keep his promises. Last week, Trump stated he wanted to take the US troops out of Syria, giving them only six months left in the foreign country. Sadly, the use of chemical weapons in Syria may change his mind; instead of pulling the troops out sooner, the troops might have to stay longer. Along with keeping the troops there longer, Trump may also have to push more troops into the country. As Anthony Blinken, former US Deputy Secretary of State and National Security Adviser to President Obama, says, “This attack has now jumbled the entire deck, and they now have to run as fast as they can to put some kind of plan in place to make good on the president’s own rhetoric.”

Hopefully the troops will get to come home soon and the problem will be resolved but for right now, the troops may be looking for a longer stay in Syria, as well as a rockier stay if it turns out that Syria is involved in this chemical attack.