Syria before the war and present day conditions. Source: Google Images.

Since March 2011, civil war has intensified in Syria, with the Syrian government and rebel forces blaming each other for attacks against civilians.  According to the U.N., more than 100,000 people have been killed in the conflict so far.

The rapidly escalating conflict in Syria has captured the attention of the U.N. Security Council, and has conducted a meticulous investigation of  Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s use of chemical weapons.  A decision for international military intervention has proven difficult, since “Russia, Syria’s main arms supplier, as well as China, have already vetoed three resolutions condemning Assad,” according to Reuters, for last week’s deadly gas attack  in Damascus that killed at least 1, 100 civilians.

U.N. chemical experts investigate the nerve gas attack in Damascus.
U.N. chemical experts investigate the nerve gas attack in Damascus. Source: Google Images.

However, U.S. involvement appears imminent.  U.S. President Barack Obama said the toxic gas attack on civilians had crossed the “red line.”

However, President Assad denies claims of chemical weapons use and blames the rebel fighters trying to overthrow the government for using them.

With the Syrian Electronic Army reportedly behind a cyberattack that brought down the New York Times’ website and U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel telling reporters that his country’s military is “ready to go” if President  Obama orders action in Syria, neither side seems as if they will back down any time soon.

Al Jazeera English provided a map of what possible strategic targets could look like if the U.S. goes to war with Syria:

Via Al Jazeera English: A map of current US ships and aircraft along with potential targets if the US goes to war with Syria
Via Al Jazeera English: A map of current US ships and aircraft along with potential targets if the US goes to war with Syria.

Some Twitter users disagree about whether the United States should intervene in Syria or not:

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Going to war so shortly after ending over a decade of being at war with Iraq and Afghanistan is going to be tough to make popular among the American populace, but the U.S. government wants to make clear that it will stop Syria from using chemical weapons. President Obama seems to have no doubt the Syrian government carried out chemical attacks on its civilians.  According to the New York Daily News , Obama said:

“We do not believe that, given the delivery systems, using rockets, that the opposition (Syrian rebels) could have carried out these attacks. We have concluded that the Syrian government in fact carried these out. And if that’s so, then there need to be international consequences.”

In a speech recorded from CSPAN, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called Syria’s attack a “moral obscenity.” The speech can be seen here:

In my opinion, there is not an obvious side to align with in this conflict.  On one hand, going to war would involve working as allies with the Muslim Brotherhood and Al-Qaeda.  On the other hand, there is a government killing its own people with chemical weapons.  The U.S. will have to decide who’s the lesser of two evils because there are no good guys in this situation.

Published by: Jessica Stone


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