How many more dead before peace?


The chemical attack on a small town in the province of Idlib, in northern Syria, one of the last strongholds of rebels fighting the Assad regime since 2011, killed scores of people.

The deadly incident, blamed on the Syrian airforce, denied by the Russians, on behalf of Bashar Assad, and attributed to a weapons depot held by the rebels — who in turn deny having the capability of producing the deadly gas, most likely sarin — is bound to change the more malleable position adopted lately by the US and most of the rest of the international community on the Syrian conflict, now in its seventh year.

Gruesome pictures of children gasping for air during the last moments of their life, of people convulsing or dead caused much uproar and shock worldwide.

The French UN envoy said “we’re talking about war crimes”, US President Donald Trump labelled the attack “heinous”, “terrible”, “unspeakable” and “an affront to humanity”, and blamed his predecessor for having failed to act when the “red lines” he had set were crossed four years ago.

Just before the attack — whose timing is indeed suspicious — most of the world nations, including the US, had decided that the future of the Syrian president lies in the hands of the Syrian people, suggesting a hands-off policy on the controversial leader.

All this may change now, after the chemical attack.


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