On August 28, 2013, Syria, a Middle Eastern country on the Mediterranean coast, used chemical weapons on a suburb of the capital city, Damascas, killing 1,429 people, including 426 children. This broke the Chemical Weapons Convention, which outlawed the stockpiling and use of all chemical weapons in war.
More than seven in ten Americans oppose a strike on Syria, according to a CNN News poll. This is understandable, because after starting a war in Iraq, people would be skeptical about a strike.
“After the Iraq War, I’m a little apprehensive, but I think these are two very different circumstances,” said Mr. Ramirez, San Marcos World History teacher.
In 2011, a group of Syrian citizens revolted against police officers in Damascas. Since then, more than 80,000 soldiers, tired of the dictatorship which has ruled the country for thirteen years, have joined the fight; which has led to a war between the Syrian military and Syrian people.
Secretary of State John Kerrey said in a press conference on September 9, that if Syria surrenders chemical weapons, there would be no need for a strike.
With war raging on for two years, Dictator Bashar al-Assad’s regime has made progress on attacking and controlling rebel controlled areas. During July of 2013, the Syrian government was in control of 30-40 percent of the country’s territory and 60 percent of the Syrian population (soilders, Syrians that are on the government side, ect.). With two million refugees in six different countries, the United States plans to take action on Syrian chemical stockpiles.
On September 3, President Obama said in a press conference that he would like to have a “minimal” strike on Syria, in light of the chemical attacks on southern Syria.
“The United States should defend people all around the world, and this is a war crime that can not be taken lightly,” said the President.
America plans on asking allies for help, but with the British and Canadian parliaments voting not to strike Syria, the United States is losing support. Obama does have some support in Congress over the missile strikes, such as from House Speakers, John Boehner and Nancy Pelosi.
If a strike happens, the Syrian government has allies of their own. Russia, Iran, and China have said that if missiles hit Assad controlled areas without the support of the United Nations and Congress, they would be prepared to defend the regime.
“I do believe that a direct, clearance, and conscientious appeal to the American public is the way to go about it as our government considers a course of action,” added Mr. Ramirez. The French have released evidence that the Assad government gassed their own people, but this has yet to be evaluated by the E.U. and U.N. Security Councils. Russia has said that the evidence is “ridiculous” and “fake.”
Obama has yet to comment on anything until Congress votes at a predetermined date. Without major support in Congress, Obama will have to postpone or even cancel the strikes.
There is a current war between Syria and Assad and they are still fighting accusations on the chemical attack and although some of the Democratic Party in Congress are willing to green light a strike on Syria, the Republican Party is not so trusting.
On September 11, the United Nations confirmed Syria’s dictator, Assad, signed a chemical weapons decree that stated Syria will accede to international law on chemical weapons. Meaning that the Syrian government will have to give up their chemical weapons to the international community and will be destroyed.
Also on September 13, the United States and Russia began talks on a chemical weapons deal with Syria in Geneva, Switzerland.