Assad’s Chemical Attack Prompts U.S. Response


The body of a child after a reported gas attack in the Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib Province. courtesy of The New York Times

Lendsy Barriga, Staff Writer

By: Lendsy Barriga

In the beginning of April, the Syrian government used chemical weapons on civilians in rebel-held areas of the country.

During the past few years as the Syrian civil war raged on, there have been multiple instances where chemical weapons have been used in the battle ground. Usually, it’s the Syrian government that drops mustard gas on rebels and civilians. Mustard gas, known as Sulfur Mustard, is a warfare agent that causes blisters to form on exposed skin and, if breathed in, causes blisters to form in the lungs.

However, during this recent attack, sarin gas was used. Sarin gas is classified as a weapon of mass destruction, according to international law. It’s a colorless, odorless liquid and a nerve agent. Death can occur in one to ten minutes after inhaling the dangerous liquid. Ultimately, this dangerous weapon is illegal to use according to the Laws of War. It’s also illegal to attack civilians, hospitals, and schools, but that’s exactly what the Syrian government did.

During this attack, approximately 89 people died due to the Syrian government. In response to this attack, Donald Trump, the president of the United States, sent out 59 tomahawk missiles. The missiles were sent to an air base where it is said that the plane that dropped the chemicals on the Syrian civilians came from. Most of the buildings at this location were leveled out and destroyed. The Syrian government is outraged against this attack on the air base, while the Russian government is being questioned. In a news conference, Trump said, “Well, one of the things I think you’ve noticed about me is militarily I don’t like to say where I’m going and what I’m doing.”

Tony Romagna, social studies teacher at Wheat Ridge High School said, “I would say that between the United States and Syria in particular, it’s certainly going to create more of an opportunity for a flashpoint or for conflict, which is not necessarily good because that could potentially lead to some increased military conflict down the road.” We just have to wait and see if Syria is going to take action after this devastating attack.