Saturday, 17 April, 2021


Bad Legal Arguments for the Syria Airstrikes

Syrian President Bashar al Assad talks with government troops in the enclave of Eastern Ghouta outside Damascus Syrian President Bashar al Assad talks with government troops in the enclave of Eastern Ghouta outside Damascus
Hannah Rogers | 15 April, 2018, 09:22

"The time for talking ended last night", Haley said, noting that the strike, which was a joint effort of the U.S., France, and the United Kingdom, was strictly done "to deter the future use of chemical weapons by holding the Syrian regime responsible for its atrocities against humanity".

U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis on Friday night said the assault was a "one-time shot", so long as Assad does not repeat his use of chemical weapons.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis says military strikes in Syria are "directed at the Syrian regime" and they have "gone to great lengths to avoid civilians and foreign casualties".

"We can not stand by and let Russian Federation trash every worldwide norm that we stand for, and allow the use of chemical weapons to go unanswered", Haley told the Council.

Syria and its allies, Russian Federation and Iran, have denied that Assad's government used chemical weapons, and have sought to blame both foreign actors and militant groups for staging the attacks in Douma.

The airstrikes came in response to a suspected chemical weapons attack in the rebel-held town of Douma on April 7, which is said to have killed some 40 people, among them children. The attack is believed to have been ordered by the Syrian government, spearheaded by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The Syrian foreign ministry called the attack a "blatant violation of the worldwide law" and said it was an attempt to derail the investigation into the alleged chemical attack on April 7, which President Donald Trump quickly blamed on the Syrian government. US warplanes have flown over Syria for four years to find and destroy Islamic State forces, said Chollet.

Russian Federation did not fire surface-to-air missiles in response to the attacks, despite a previous threat to do so, the United States said.

The investigators, who are only mandated to determine if chemical weapons were used and not who used them, were expected to start their investigations into the Douma incident on Saturday, the Netherlands-based organization said.

But I believe it should also be a message to others that the global community is not going to stand by and allow chemical weapons to be used with impunity.

In comments posted on his Twitter feed, Harris said: "The use of chemical weapons can never be tolerated in the civilized world".

But Nebenzia maintained the Russian argument that the USA and its allies had "used as a pretext a staged chemical attack" in order to target Syria. He also said Congress must play an oversight role in such military actions.

The US, France and Britain defended their military action as legal during the Security Council meeting.

The New York Times earlier reported that Trump's announcement would deal with Syria.

Officials added that the strikes took out the "heart" of Syria's chemical weapons program, but that Assad still maintains "residual" capabilities.

The presence of Russian troops and air defenses in Syria were among numerous complications weighing on Trump, who must also consider the dangers to roughly 2,000 American troops in the country if Russia were to retaliate for US strikes.

Turkey's president, meanwhile, said the airstrikes on Syrian targets were "correct" and showed the Syrian regime that such actions would not go "unanswered".

The U.S. issued an assessment on Friday night pointing to the Syrian government's role in the alleged chemical attacks in Douma.

With the latest US missile strikes, President Donald Trump appears to have reset America's red line for military intervention in Syria over the use of chemical weapons.

"Her country, is ready, is 'locked and loaded, '" said Bolivia's ambassador to the UN, Sacha Sergio Llorenty Soliz.

The three allies used ships, a submarine and warplanes to launch a barrage of 105 guided missiles towards three chemical weapons facilities in Syria, officials said, including a research center on the outskirts of Damascus.

There have been many instances when we have seen them using those chemical weapons. The strikes, more limited than once seemed likely, were created to deter the Assad regime's use of chemical weapons once and for all.

Ahmad, a 25-year-old mechanic who had been displaced from Douma, told AFP the Western strikes were nevertheless too little, too late.

Steve Herman at the White House; Katherine Gypson and Aru Pande in Washington.

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