Yet another sordid chapter
The European Union and the United Nations have directly blamed the Bashar-Al Assad regime for this monstrosity. Russia, which has been the Assad regime’s closest ally, rejected the UN’s claims.
In yet another shocking instance of brutality in the ongoing war in Syria, at least 58 people were killed in a suspected chemical attack. It is not clear yet whether the attacks in Khan Sheikhoun, located in the volatile Idlib province, were carried out by Syrian government forces or Russian troops. The European Union and the United Nations have directly blamed the Bashar-Al Assad regime for this monstrosity. Russia, which has been the Assad regime's closest ally, rejected the UN's claims. It said that the atrocity in Khan Sheikhoun was the result of a Syrian government airstrike on a rebel chemical munitions depot. If the UN's claims are correct, then this chemical attack represents not only a major war crime but a serious violation of a significant international agreement, in which both the United States and Russia had agreed to get rid of Syria's chemical weapons stockpiles after the horrific 2013 sarin gas attack in Damascus that killed hundreds.
How did the Assad regime get their hands on this new stockpile of chemical weapons? Despite US President Donald Trump's claim that this recent attack has crossed "a lot of lines" for him, Washington has either backed rebel forces involved in gross human rights violations or has been directly responsible for acts that have resulted in the killing of innocent civilians. It has consistently refused to apologise or make reparations. It is imperative to note that Assad is not the lesser evil in this protracted war and should be held accountable for his regime's crimes. In a war that has already claimed more than 400,000 lives and displaced millions, this recent chemical attack is yet another shameful chapter.