Trump Response to Syrian Chemical Attack by Tamara Qutmiera

On April 4, 2017, Syrian President Bashar Assad, launched a chemical attack on Syrians, killing 86 people. In response, President Trump ordered a missile strike against Syria on Thursday, April 6, saying, “no child of God should ever suffer.”

The 59 missiles, fired from the destroyers USS Porter and Ross in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, struck the airfield where Syria based the warplanes used in the chemical attack, according to Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman. Although many missiles were fired, the impact on the base was minimal and only a couple planes destroyed. But, it is still unclear on whether or not there were civilian or military causalities.

The attack, the first conventional assault on another country ordered by Trump, comes a day after he declared that the chemical weapons assault had “crossed many, many lines,” including causing the deaths of 27 children.

“Ever time America gets involved in anything regarding the Middle East, we just make the situation for the people involved, much worse. Even though what Syria’s government is doing to its people is unlawful, inhumane, and downright disgusting, we shouldn’t involve ourselves unless we are there to make a positive difference. Which isn’t usually the case when we do go overseas, so we need to just learn to stay put,” said senior Justine Roland.

From his resort in Palm Beach, Florida, Trump said that Syrian President Bashar Assad, “Launched a horrible chemical attack on innocent civilians using a deadly nerve agent. Assad choked out the lives of helpless men, women and children. It was a slow and brutal death for so many. Even beautiful babies were cruelly murdered at this very barbaric attack. No child of God should ever suffer such horror.

“Tonight I ordered a targeted military strike on the airfield in Syria from where the chemical attack was launched. It is in this vital national security interest of the United States to prevent and deter the spread and use of deadly chemical weapons,” Trump said.

But the strikes represented not only an escalation of the US role in Syria, but could have a ripple effect on the US’ relations with the Syrian regime’s powerful backer, Russia.

“I find it incredibly terrifying that we are involving ourselves once again with a war that isn’t ours to fight, especially considering the simple fact that we aren’t helping the Syrian people, rather we are making things more difficult. But now with this missile launch that Trump launched, who knows how strained our relationship with Russia and Syria now is, and what is going to happen next. Many believe that there may be a war coming soon, and that’s not a too farfetched assumption,” said junior Sam Rupel.

Russian President Vladimir Putin described the US airstrikes on Syria as an act of aggression against a sovereign state that “dealt a serious blow to Russia-US relations,” according to a Kremlin statement. Russia said it believed Syria had destroyed all of its chemical weapons and the US strikes were based on a “far-fetched pretext.”

Regarding Trumps’ decision to interfere with the Syria conflict, Senator Rand Paul called on Trump to consult on Congress when a major decision like this is made, which didn’t happen this time around. “While we all condemn the atrocities in Syria, the United States was not attacked,” Paul said. “The President needs congressional authorization for military action as required by the Constitution, and I call on him to come to Congress for a proper debate.”

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