Another Attack That Makes the World Take Notice
Here at Xyza, we’ve been talking about the world’s refugee crisis a lot, with much of our attention specifically focused on Syrian refugees. Why Syria? To answer that question, we’ll have to go back to the year 2011—the year the Syrian civil war began. Bashar al-Assad had been President of Syria for 11 years and the people had grown increasingly unsatisfied with his leadership. After all, it wasn’t just the high unemployment rate (people couldn’t find jobs), but the corruption and lack of freedom (Syria is governed by a president, but it has been under the rule of the al-Assad family for over four decades) that many were feeling. As a result of growing discontent, people began to protest. The government’s response? Empty promises mixed with military violence to keep those opposing the government from getting even louder. By mid-2012, it wasn’t just the people of Syria calling for President Bashar al-Assad to resign, but other countries too. He didn’t resign—instead he worked out a deal with the international community and signed an agreement to get rid of all of their chemical weapons by 2014.
On April 4th, the northwestern area of Syria was attacked with an airstrike of chemical weapons. The deadly chemicals killed nearly 90 people including civilians and injured hundreds more. President al-Assad has denied that this was an act by his military, insisting that they have not possessed any chemical weapons since they signed an agreement in 2013 to rid their supply. He has, however, said that the chemical attack story was fake and an excuse for the United States to attack Syria. The United States and other countries such as the United Kingdom, however, believe that President al-Assad still has chemical weapons and used them on his own people. Earlier this month, President Trump reacted to the chemical attack with an airstrike on where the warplanes used in the attack were stored. Some countries such as North Korea and Russia think that the United States reacted poorly and with intelligence.