Tags: syria | chemical attack | trump | john bolton

Will Syria Chemical Attacks Draw Another US Response?

Will Syria Chemical Attacks Draw Another US Response?
A picture taken on April 8, 2018, shows Syrian Army soldiers advancing in an area on the eastern outskirts of Douma, as they continue their fierce offensive to retake the last opposition holdout in Eastern Ghouta. (Stringer/AFP/Getty Images)

By Monday, 09 April 2018 12:29 PM Current | Bio | Archive

It appears the Syrian Civil War is coming into full focus for Americans once again. The United Nations Security Council will hold an emergency session Monday afternoon to discuss the issue of chemical attacks, diplomats said on Sunday.

An infuriated President Donald Trump called the alleged attacks "mindless chemical attack" on Sunday, referring to actions that killed women and children. The president also called Syrian President Bashar Assad an "animal," while publicly condemning Russian President Vladimir Putin for his support of the Damascus dictator.

This is not the first time the president has become involved in Syrian government poison gas attacks upon their own people. Trump ordered a missile attack last year on the air base responsible for dispensing poisonous agents. He had pledged “serious consequences” in the past if it was used again.

There will be a “big price to pay" Trump warned Sunday. The Russians immediately called for a Monday meeting of the Security Council concerning "international threats to peace and security," it was reported Sunday.

That could be a ploy by Putin to convey Russian innocence in the matter. But he is well aware that Trump ordered the firing of dozens of cruise missiles at a Syrian air base last year accusing the Russians of prior knowledge of Syrian intentions.

Saturday's attack signals a resumed offensive by Syrian government forces on a rebel-held town near Damascus. It is reported that the gas attack in Douma killed at least 40 people.

It was only a few days ago Trump signaled the U.S. would be pulling back from the conflict. This latest incident may have the president thinking twice about withdrawing an estimated 2,000 American troops from the region. Most of the ISIS fighters U.S. troops were fighting have been vanquished.

The Assad government has denied any involvement in the latest reports of poisonous gas being used according to their state-run news agency SANA. The rebels fighting the Syrian government have no means for delivering poisonous gas.

Homeland Security adviser Thomas Bossert said, in reference to this being an international incident, "This isn't just the United States. This is one of those issues on which every nation, all peoples, have all agreed and have agreed since World War II, it's an unacceptable practice," referring to the use of poison.

Trump will meet with senior military leadership Monday. Ironically, Monday is the same day his new national security adviser John Bolton takes the helm. He happens to be an advocate of airstrikes against the Syrian government.

The president has been reticent to criticize Putin in the past. Even while more sanctions were being imposed on Russia after their suspected involvement poisoning a former spy, the Russian president was not mentioned by name.

This latest incident could change all of this. The gas attack is indicative of larger issues in the region. Iran’s involvement is becoming more disturbing. Trump has already signaled to Tehran he is now willing to scuttle the nuclear deal they made with former President Obama.

It should be pointed out that Obama warned Syria in 2012 about the use of chemical weapons. He drew what is commonly known as a "red line" that, if crossed, would have "enormous consequences."

Yet the Syrians did cross the line with gas attacks and Obama pulled back after key U.S. ally Britain, as well as Congress, balked. It appears with Trump’s past history with the Syrians, it will not be the case with him.

The next few days may be a defining moment in Trump’s foreign policy. With the addition of the hawkish Bolton and the continuing accusations of his collusion with the Russians, anything is possible.

One thing is certain, besides a possible showdown with Syria, Iran and Russia, the Israelis and the Saudis have a tremendous stake in the matter. Trump must show American resolve on a variety of front now presented.

Dwight L. Schwab, Jr. is an award-winning national political and foreign affairs columnist and published author. He has spent over 35 years in the publishing industry. His long-running articles include many years at Examiner.com and currently Newsblaze.com. Dwight is an author of two highly acclaimed books, "Redistribution of Common Sense - Selected Commentaries on the Obama Administration 2009-2014" and "The Game Changer - America's Most Stunning Election in History." He is a native of Portland, Oregon, a journalism graduate from the University of Oregon, and a resident of the SF Bay Area. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.

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It appears the Syrian Civil War is coming into full focus for Americans once again. The United Nations Security Council will hold an emergency session Monday afternoon to discuss the issue of chemical attacks, diplomats said on Sunday.
syria, chemical attack, trump, john bolton
Monday, 09 April 2018 12:29 PM
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