Opinion: hold the Syrian regime accountable

An+outdoor+fountain+park+in+Damascus+Syria+still+brings+some+locals+outside+despite+the+5+year+civil+war+raging+outside+the+city.+
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Opinion: hold the Syrian regime accountable

An outdoor fountain park in Damascus Syria still brings some locals outside despite the 5 year civil war raging outside the city.

An outdoor fountain park in Damascus Syria still brings some locals outside despite the 5 year civil war raging outside the city.

Noor Sulghina

An outdoor fountain park in Damascus Syria still brings some locals outside despite the 5 year civil war raging outside the city.

Noor Sulghina

Noor Sulghina

An outdoor fountain park in Damascus Syria still brings some locals outside despite the 5 year civil war raging outside the city.

Lucas Barr, Staff Reporter

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For over seven years, a civil war has ravaged the Levantine nation of Syria with no signs of it letting up. While rebellions are commonplace in the Middle East, the Syrian Civil War has gained notoriety for its duration, brutality of the government, international involvement, and use of chemical warfare.

In light of reports of a massive chemical attack this past week near Damascus, there has been great international pressure to hold the Syrian government accountable. It is imperative that the United States punish the Syrian regime and send a powerful message without getting tangled up in a war.

For too long, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has commited many war crimes without facing any serious consequences. This is hardly the first time hundreds of innocent Syrians have been targeted with illegal chemical weapons. Former U.S. President Barack Obama contemplated involvement as thousands of Syrians perished at the hands of toxic substances, with current president Donald Trump having commissioned airstrikes on a government base following a chemical attack last year.

While Trump’s strikes did send a message to the Syrian regime, a year has gone by with al-Assad feeling invincible yet again. It should not be the United State’s role to be the world’s policemen, but with nobody else stepping up against these heinous war crimes, inaction is not an option.

The United Nations has been ineffective on taking action in Syria as al-Assad’s staunch ally Russia has blocked resolutions and frequently denied confirmed chemical attacks and supporting the Syrian regime militarily. With Russia warning the United States of “grave repercussions” if they attack Syria, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley accused Russia’s hands of being “covered in the blood of Syrian children”.

Trump and the United States cannot permit Russia to get away with assisting al-Assad’s use of chemical weapons among other war crimes. At a time where Russia too feels immune to consequences following their nerve agent attack on a former Russian spy in the United Kingdom and the recent reelection of Vladimir Putin as president, Trump cannot let their recklessness go unnoticed once again.

Putting troops on the ground in Syria is not in the best interest of the United States as there is no end in sight to the civil war, and would take the lives of many American soldiers and risk direct conflict with Russia. However, Trump should attack Syrian government bases with airstrikes in the coming days in order to send a message against using chemical weapons and to keep Russia in line.