On Friday, April 13, 2018, President Donald Trump faced the nation and detailed a United States airstrike to condemn Assad’s chemical weapons stockpiles in Syria. The operation was condensed to only a few known stockpiles although General Mattis stated they had other targets in mind.
The targets were chosen because they were not close to any major areas where civilians reside. The airstrikes were conducted alongside Britain and France in response to the recent chemical weapons attack in Douma, Syria, that killed over 40 civilians. The chemical weapons attack has been vehemently denied by the Kremlin who deems the report a “hoax.”
Russian forces moved into Douma following the attack, which made the United Nations’ investigation to find chemical weapons difficult. For an investigation to conclusively determine whether chemical weapons were used, the investigation would have had to take place within two days of the chemical discharge, a window that had already passed. However, blood samples of civilian survivors show traces of chlorine gas.
The Russian ambassador to the United States said, “There will be consequences,” in response to the attack. However, although Russian radar was active and operational, none of the fighter jets were fired by Russians. This shows that they were very careful not to escalate tensions between the United States in the region. Rather, their response was empty rhetoric.
Don’t pay attention to a lot of the mainstream media’s scare tactics on this event. No, this won’t cause World War III. There’s no chance of it. Most people think that somehow Russia and the United States are “equal matches” in a war. The truth is, in a limited war, the combined powers of the United States, France and Britain are so superior that Russia wouldn’t last very long in a war against us.
Additionally, Russia doesn’t want to bring the United States into a conflict in the Middle East against Assad. Our military influence in the Middle East is vastly greater than theirs, and they want to keep their main asset in power in the Middle East. The Russian response will be next to nothing; any military, cyber or diplomatic response they could have would be incredibly risky for them.
The airstrike was a great move to make, and the safe manner in which it was conducted limited any unintended consequences that the airstrikes may have caused. The reason why the airstrike was absolutely necessary is simple: chemical weapons must not be used.
The United States and our closest allies seem to be the only nations willing to uphold the Geneva Convention, which outlawed chemical weapons. The airstrike sends a clear message to Assad: keep using chemical weapons, and more consequences will come.