Saturday, August 22, 2015

Update on the Syrian Civil War and the Use of Chemical Weapons

           Three years after U.S. President Barack Obama warned Syria’s dictatorial regime of Bashar Assad against using chemical weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) in the Syrian civil war, the regime continues to use chemical weapons with impunity, as well as to bomb civilian areas indiscriminately.    

Syria’s dictatorship had used chemical weapons after Obama’s warning, but signed a Russian-brokered deal in 2013 to give up its known stockpile of chemical weapons, which allowed the Assad regime to escape punishment for using WMDs.  The weapons were removed, but doubts have remained about any undeclared weapons or stockpiles of prohibited chemicals, such as nerve agents, that can be used for WMDs.  Indeed, some of the prohibited chemicals have been used in WMDs in Syria, whether by the regime or the “Islamic State” Islamist terrorists.  The U.S. was successful recently in winning adoption of a United Nations resolution to investigate the use of chemical weapons in Syria, but any more meaningful measures in the Security Council are vetoed by Russia, which is an ally of Syria.  As I posted previously, the Syrian regime also uses deadly chlorine gas, which is not classified as a prohibited “chemical weapon” under the agreement, despite its history of being used as such since the First World War.  See my posts, Syria Has Circumvented Its Deal to Give up Its Chemical Weapons, from September of 2014,, and Foreign Digest: Ukraine, China Syria and Iran, from January of this year,  

A quarter of a million people have died in Syria’s civil war.  Three million people have become refugees.  The Assad regime, which is Iran’s only Arab ally, is a state sponsor of terrorism.  The U.S. is training only a few dozen non-Islamist rebels while targeting the Islamic State and al-Qaeda in Syria.  The Obama Administration’s proposed nuclear deal with Iran would free up billions of dollars for Iran not only to provide even more aid to terrorists, some of which are fighting in support of the Assad regime, but also for Iranian troops themselves in Syria.

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