A demand for investigation in Syria gas attack
Chemical Reaction: A request for investigation by international community is accepted by Syrian government
By Tiffany Narducci, Staff Writer
The Syrian government has agreed to allow UN agents to enter the country in order to investigate a purported chemical attack that occurred on August 21.
The international community has been calling for action following an attack in the suburbs of Damascus, where a raid earlier this week killed more than 350 civilians, most of them children.
The Syrian regime has come under increased scrutiny from the international community for allegedly using chemical weapons on its own people – an allegation the Assad government vehemently denies.
Syria has been in a state of civil war since March 2011, following the country’s participation in the Arab Spring movement to remove President Bashar al-Assad from power. The Assad family has ruled Syria as an authoritarian regime since 1971.
Syria’s Information Minister, Omran Zoabi, has called the allegations, “illogical and fabricated,” a sentiment Syrian ally Russia has echoed, claiming the accusations are an attempt by rebels to discredit Assad.
Reports from Damascus state that victims are showing symptoms typical of nerve gas victims – constricted pupils, cold limbs and foam at the mouth.
Despite the move to allow outside observers into the country to investigate the attack, officials from the international community have been calling for tougher action against the regime.
Rep. Elliott Engle, top Democrat in the House Foreign Affairs Committee, has called for swift action from the United States, stating America would, “wipe out the Syrian air force” if it so desired.
Two years ago, President Obama stated that the United States would interfere in the conflict only if chemical weapons were used against the Syrian people.
Since the attack on Wednesday, however, the administration has declined any public comment on how the United States will proceed. Reports state the President has been in contact with world leaders from England, Canada and France to discuss a global response to the attacks.
Iranian officials have publically condemned any action from the west, stating that the U.S will face “severe consequences” following any military action in Syria.
Syrian rebels have received support most notably from Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia – none of which have supplied troops or have had any direct involvement in the war.
To date, the U.N has reported over 100, 000 casualties since the beginning of the Syrian civil war.
Tiffany Narducci is a master’s candidate in Political Science at Carleton University in Ottawa, where she also completed her undergraduate degree in Journalism. She is passionate about international politics and how they affect humanitarian relief efforts, and hopes to begin a career in international development.
Photo courtesy to Timeturk English
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