Syria’s Cowardly Chemical Attack: Answered
The Syrian government used chemical weapons on their own people. In response, their next-door Israeli neighbors bombed a Syrian air base. So why is Russia mad?
Last night, a deadly airstrike took place against the Basil al-Assad air base. At first, many people blamed Trump who hours before had promised strong action against the Syrians for the deployment of sarin gas which has killed approximately 60 of their own citizens. Then, Russians blamed the blame on the Israelis who later came out to claim responsibility for the counter attack which left 14 people on the base dead.
Last night before the attacks, we published a no-frills explanation of how Obama’s broken promises kept chemical weapons in the hands of the Syrian government and therefore the Syrian military. While sarin gas was developed before WWII and used by both Russia and the United States as a back-up chemical weapon, it was officially condemned by the United Nations in 1993 and all countries wanting to be a part of the organization agreed to destroy their stockpiles and cease further production. In 2013, Obama and Putin were part of an agreement that set out to disarm Syria of their sarin, but in recent years Syrians have continued to deploy the nerve agent which can cause death within minutes or permanent brain damage.
Syria, Israel and Russia
Syria is inland and shares borders with Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq, Jordan and Israel. Russia is about 1000 miles away, and Moscow is about 3000 miles away. Douma, Syria is north of Damascus. It is marked on the following map:
Basil al-Assad International Airport & Airbase
The strike by Israel took place against the military section of the Basil al-Assad Airport, named for Bashar’s father, a past president of the country. The military air base is also know as Khmeimim or Hmeimim. The airbase is operated by Russians and is located in Syria near the Mediterranean.
Fourteen hours after Trump tweeted that ‘animal Assad’ would pay a ‘big price’ for a chemical attack that killed dozens of people, including children, an air strike was announced by media. The aircraft targeted the base with eight missiles, five of which were shot down. The aircraft did not at any time enter Syrian airspace and there is still confusion over whether the aircraft had entered into Lebanese airspace.
American officials have confirmed to media that the Israelis had alerted the United States to their raid beforehand.
At this time, Israeli officials have not offered many details on the attack to the media.
Syrian Media Responds
After the airstrike, Syria’s state-run SANA news agency declared that the attack was purely “Israeli aggression.” This was after SANA had initially blamed Americans for the attack.
The Syrian government has also denied any responsibility for the initial sarin gas attack, and they — along with Russian military — have called it a fabrication.
Lebanese Army Responds
According to the Lebanese army, there were four Israeli aircraft and they entered Lebanese airspace without permission. The official statement declares that planes had been in Lebanese airspace for around 10 minutes, starting at 3:25am local time early on Monday morning. But, the Lebanese Armed Forces did not say whether the aircraft were part of the Israeli strike.
Syrian Observatory for Human Rights
According to a watchdog group that monitors violent conflict in the country, of the 14 people who were killed by Israeli airstrikes at the military air base, several were Iranians who were allies to the Syrian regime. As well, the head of the group says that the Lebanese group Hezbollah keeps a ‘presence’ at the base, along with the mentioned Russians and Iranians.
Russia Is Angry
As mentioned above, the air base that was targeted by the Israelis is operated by the Russians, and they are known to keep a presence at the base. Russia was jointly responsible, along with Obama’s administration, to keep chemical weapons away from Syrian starting back in 2013 when the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad agreed to allow the two countries supervise the removal of his chemical weapons.
After the airstrike, Russians were the first out of the gate — before Syria! — to say that the attack was launched by Israelis, claiming that there were two fighter jets.
At the end of last month, Trump removed Russian diplomats from a consulate in America after a suspicious event in Britain lead to the poisoning death of a British ex-spy and his daughter. The official reason for the removal of the 60 diplomats was the proximity of the Russians to US military bases and Boeing.
Sources: Daily Mail, Fox News