International Justice

CJ354 Endicott College

Chemical weapons in Syria

There has been rising concern that Assad will use chemical weapons (or that they would lose control of them to other groups). The concern has been enough that President Obama and Secretary Clinton have both spoken up about. Secretary Clinton called it the “red line”. If crossed, she said that “those responsible would be held to account”.

I can’t help but be reminded of the Halabja massacre. In the Halabja massacre, several thousands of Kurdish people (mostly civilians) were killed by chemical weapons (by Iraqi government forces). Officially, this has been named an act of genocide against the Kurdish Iraqis. Even without targeting a specific group, it has still been defined as a crime against humanity by the Parliament of Canada.

Syria has said that they have chemical weapons, but said that they were there in case of invading forces. However, there is obviously still the very concerning possibility that they could be used on the Syrian people.

Concerning the situation in Syria, reports are saying that the USS Eisenhower is on the Syrian coast and ready for intervention. This intervention could happen “within days”.

This action by the United States actually follows a decision by NATO to arrange for the Patriot Air and Missile Defense Systems in Turkey on the Syrian border. This is because of concern for the Turkey, as well as the northern parts of the Syrian border (these are controlled by the rebels).

Chemical weapons in Syria http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/12/05/us-nato-syria-clinton-idUSBRE8B40OE20121205

USS Eisenhower by Syria http://rt.com/usa/news/us-eisenhower-syria-military-369/

Halabja massacre http://www.hrw.org/reports/1991/IRAQ913.htm

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