What happened in the chemical attack
Yet another large scale inhuman casualty of the civil war in Syria – now raging on for the sixth year – has been the murder of at least 70 people in an alleged chemical attack in the town of Khan Sheikhoun. Situated in the north western part of the country, this centre was deemed a rebel town, protesting against the Bashar al-Assad government in the long waging civil war. Witnesses claim that airplanes dropped bombs laced with chemicals – apparently the deadly Sarin gas – that led to the decimation. Survivors are said to suffer as well, with symptoms of asphyxiation and breathlessness, further confirming the use of deadly chemicals and nerve gases.
What Russia says
Russia – the strongest ally of the incumbent government – continues to show its support for the Assad regime despite these atrocious deaths. It claims that military warplanes were targeting a chemical factory of Iraqi militants hidden in the town and that, the destruction of the factory had led to the release of chemicals that led to the deaths of the innocent civilians. However, war experts refute the claim altogether, stating that such a high death toll is not only impractical but also unsustainable even in the unlikely event of any gas producing factory getting bombed. Locals have been very vocal to express that there was never any chemical facility, whatsoever, in the town, and that the claims by the government and its allies are mere excuses to escape the scathing truth of the deaths. Here is Russia speaking about the chemical attacks.
Why are the western powers outraged
USA, UK and their allies have been continually annoyed by Russia’s support of the Syrian government. Along with China, Russia has vetoed any UN resolution to impose sanctions on Syria which would have otherwise forced its government to come to terms at international forums. This face off is a clear split in the UN ranks – Russia’s blatant support for the Assad government, despite the events of culpable homicide – only helps to keep other international powers from bringing long term solutions to the war torn country. The UN fears that at this rate, there will never be a solution and the status quo will continue to allow the government to wage war with the rebels at large.
Russia has refuted the need to draft any new resolution at the UN and has requested an international investigation to understand next steps. It is quite clear that the country is in no hurry to step away from its support of the Syrian government, while other western powers continue to be exasperated at the futility of UN efforts to intervene in Syria. The civil war will sadly continue at this rate and the future looks bleak indeed for the country that has already seen the deaths and displacements of millions of its citizens in the last six years of the deadly war