It has been five days since Syria’s evil dictator Bashar Assad launched a chemical attack on his own people, killing at least 40, including many women and children.
The longer Assad escapes punishment for his crimes against humanity, the longer will be the pain and suffering of Syrians.
The seven-year civil war aimed at toppling Assad has succeeded only in turning the streets into rivers of blood. More than 1 in 10 Syrians have been wounded or killed. The conflict has caused a mind-boggling 500,000 deaths, while millions have been displaced.
And yet, Russian President Vladimir Putin and his henchmen are doing all they can to stop the United States and its allies from punishing the Assad regime for Saturday’s chemical attack.
Russia is providing military and other support to the government in Damascus and is, therefore, just as guilty for the atrocities being committed against innocent civilians.
Hence, President Donald J. Trump, who has said there will be a “big price to pay” for Assad’s diabological act, must not let Russia dictate the response.
On Tuesday, a senior Russian lawmaker said a U.S. strike on Syria could trigger a direct military clash between Russia and the United States.
Vladimir Shamanov, a retired general who heads the defense affairs committee in the lower house of parliament, said in televised remarks that a U.S. strike in Syria could hurt Russian servicemen and trigger Russian retaliation.
He said that Russia has “the necessary means for that and the Americans and their allies know that quite well.”
According to the Associated Press, Shamanov emphasized that a retaliatory Russian strike could target U.S. Navy ships and aircraft. He added that the use of nuclear weapons is “unlikely.”
The use of the word “unlikely” is deliberate because it is designed to signal that the use of nuclear weapons is an option.
A year ago, President Trump ordered the firing of dozens of cruise missiles at a Syrian air base, the launching site of a chemical attack by the Assad regime.
About 100 Syrians, including dozens of women and children, were killed and more than 557 were injured.
The unleashing of 59 cruise Tomahawk missiles from a U.S. warship in the Mediterranean Sea was widely hailed as an appropriate response by the U.S. to the atrocities committed by the Syrian government.
At the time, Trump made it clear that the use of chemical weapons, especially against women and children, was an act of pure evil that demanded a military response.
The president was right in April 2017 and he’s right today. Syria’s president Assad must be reminded that even in war, there are lines that cannot be crossed.
In a tweet after Saturday’s chemical attack, Trump said, “Many dead, including women and children, in mindless CHEMICAL attack in Syria. Area of atrocity is in lockdown and encircled by Syrian Army, making it completely inaccessible to outside world. President Putin, Russia and Iran are responsible for backing Animal Assad. Big price to pay. Open area immediately for medical help and verification. Another humanitarian disaster for no reason whatsoever. SICK.”
Indeed, what’s taking place in Syria is sick, and Russian President Putin has obviously been afflicted. There’s no other explanation for his behavior.
On Tuesday, Russia vetoed a U.S.-drafted U.N. resolution that would have condemned the gas attack near Damascus and would have established a new body to determine responsibility.
U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley harshly condemned Russia for preventing an objective, impartial, independent and professional investigation.
The veto opens the door for the United States and its allies, led by Britain and France, to launch a surgical strike against key military installations in Syria.
On Monday, Trump met in the White House with his senior military leadership and his new national security adviser, John Bolton, to discuss a response to the chemical attack on Douma, a rebel-held town near Damascus.
As of this writing, Trump remained unwavering in his determination to punish Assad for his inhumanity.