President Donald Trump has warned Bashar Al Assad’s government that the US is “locked and loaded” to strike Syria again if there are more chemical attacks.

Trump’s warning come just days after the US, UK, and France executed a joint airstrike in response to the chemical attack that was registered in the town of Douma. Syria still denies having used chemical weapons against civilians and blames the rebels for such attacks. As well, Russia – who is one of Al Assad’s allies – suggests that the attack was planned to allow westerns powers to maintain control over the Middle East.

Tensions in the world after the chemical attack in Syria

The United Nations Security Council held a meeting this weekend. A Russian proposal to condemn the US-led strike was rejected – only China and Bolivia supported it. Then a draft resolution the US, UK, and France presented was circulating among the UN Security Council members. It called for an independent investigation that would determine Syria’s use of chemical weapons. However, it faced Russia’s veto.

UK Prime Minister, Theresa May, said that there was a need to launch a military strike against Syria because of Russia’s consistent obstruction that has left “no practicable alternative.”

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) sent inspectors to Damascus – which are expected to visit Douma to determine if there was, in fact, the use of such weapons. However, the OPCW will not determine who is to blame for the attack, which is what France, the UK, and the United States are looking forward to know.

Syria’s Assistant Foreign Minister Ayman Sousan has said that Syrian government has welcomed the OPCW delegation and that they expect that the work of such delegation will uncover all the misinformation out there.

“The work of the mission is in the interest of the Syrian state as it will uncover the lies, hypocrisy and the misinformation of the sides which had promoted the alleged use of chemical weapons”, said the Syrian representative.

More than 40 people lost their lives during the chemical attack in Syria.

Bashar Al-assad, Donald Trump, Syria
US-led strike on Damascus. Image credit: AP

‘Enough is enough’

This recent western strike is probably the clearest and most significant attack in the western world against Al Assad’s regime in the seven years of the Syrian war.

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said that the main objective of the joint strike was to say “no” to the use of chemical weapons. According to him, people have to understand that “enough is enough.”

However, Russia considers that the whole thing was staged. Vasily Nebenzia, Russia’s representative to the United Nations, quoted President Vladimir Putin saying that the US, UK, and France acted without waiting for the report of the OPCW delegation in Syria, and accused these western countries of “cynical disdain.”

Syria’s envoy to the United Nations, Bashar Jaafari, said that the United States, the United Kingdom, and France were “liars, spoilers, and hypocrites.” He said they manipulate the United Nations to advance in their “policy of interference and colonialism.”

“We cannot stand by and let Russia trash every international norm and allow the use of chemical weapons to go unanswered.” Said Nikki Haley, US representative to the United Nations. She also said she had spoken with Mr. Trump “And he said: ‘If the Syrian regime uses this poisonous gas again, the United States is locked and loaded.”

Mission Accomplished

Regarding the strike, Donald Trump said it was “perfectly executed” on his twitter account. In that tweet, Trump also thanked France and the United Kingdom.

Bashar Al-assad, Donald Trump, Syria
Donald Trump warns Syria about future strikes if there are more chemical attacks. Image credit: Getty

“A perfectly executed strike last night. Thank you to France and the United Kingdom for their wisdom and the power of their fine Military. Could not have had a better result. Mission Accomplished!”, tweeted Trump saturday night.

The way Trump ended his tweet drew concern among many advisors and politicians. “Mission accomplished” was the phrase former President George W. Bush used regarding the end of operations in Iraq, in May 2003 – 6 weeks after the invasion started.

However, the following events and insurgency in Iraq put this exact phrase into question. Former President George W. Bush’s ex-press secretary, Ari Fleischer, said he would have recommended Trump not to end his tweet with those two words.

According to the Pentagon, the strike had “set the Syrian chemical weapons programme back years.” According to Lt. Gen Kenneth McKenzie, about 40 Syrian defense missiles were fired. The US and the Russian government said there were no reported casualties. Syria says there are some civilians hurt near Homs.

Source: BBC