Thousands of people have been killed in a chemical weapon attack in Damascus. Activists have described as more than 1,400. This attack took place in rebel held parts of Damascus. The Syrian government has denied the allegations of being responsible for the attacks. They said it was “illogical and fabricated”.
There has been great concern in the international community. The UN Security council met yesterday for an emergency meeting after the news broke out. The UK along with other 35 countries including France and Turkey are asking for a tough international response to the chemical weapons attack. The White House has called for the UN to investigate the attack. Likewise, the UK is calling for UN inspectors to be be given immediate access to where the attacks took place. Currently, the UN Weapons team only has permission to visit three sites under an agreement made by Syria and the UN. The weapons team is in Syria investigating previous claims of chemical weapons. For a mandate for an investigation into yesterday’s attack, permission will need to come from the UN Secretary General and be approved by Syria.
Experts believe that that the chemical weapons used in the attack was mustard gas and sarin nerve agent. The rebels and the Syrian government have been accused of using chemical weapons. Moreover, the Syrian government also has been accused of having stocks of chemical weapons. Several videos have been released onto the internet, showing men and women suffering from the effects of the chemical weapon attack in Damascus. Many are seen with white foam bubbling at the mouth. Also, victims have been suffering from respiratory distress. The French foreign minister, Laurent Fabius has said that the use of chemical attacks if proven would allow a “reaction of force”. However, the British Foreign Office has said that “We believe a political solution is the best way to end the bloodshed”. Nevertheless, the Prime Minster and the Foreign Secretary have both suggested that they cannot rule out any options.
So what does this mean for Syria and its people? Many comments have been made from several states calling for the end of violence in Syria. But is this enough? It seems that more may have to be done. Whether the solution to the crisis is going to be political or use of force, it is yet to be seen. There have been stronger responses of late to the Syrian Conflict. Many have suggested the use of force as an possible solution. However, this is unlikely. China and Russia are against the use of force. They have repeatedly backed the Syrian government since the conflict started. Both countries supposedly blocked a stronger Security Council press statement supported by 35 states.
For the violence to end, whether the solution would be done politically, legally or by use of force-everyone in the international community would need to come to to an agreement.