Crisis in Syria – Roundup

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It sounds elementary, but that’s exactly what seems to be happening in the situation with Syria. If there is a strike from the United States, there will be more countries involved than just Syria and America. Russia has Syria’s back and Israel is vulnerable due to its ties to the U.S. Various nations are chiming in with their idea on how to handle Syria; some are on board with a strike and others prefer a political solution.

The Problem

Syria is being accused of launching chemical weapons against its own people killing over 1,400, including over 400 children. There has been heavy investigation to prove the Syrian government was behind this, although Syrian officials claim it was rebels. Eliminating further threat of chemical weapons is the main topic these days, but it is a delicate process that, if handled badly, has the potential to cause just as much damage if not more. According to Military.com, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said, “We are taking into account in our planning that there could be environmental impacts in large dispersions of chemical stockpiles.” This was in response to the idea of military air strikes to get rid of the weapons.

U.S. Lobbies for Military Strike Support

There is indecisiveness about whether or not the U.S. should strike Syria. There is a lot of lobbying and attempts to convince congress and other nations that it is necessary. If the U.S. did strike Syria, it would be on a small and limited level. The attack would be toward the chemical weapon delivery systems. The actual storage sites of the chemicals would be too dangerous to hit. Syria has a strong air defense system so sending jets is risky unless they launch Syrian (abcnews.go.com).

Russia – Syria Ally

Russia is trying to help the situation by proposing to convince Syria to put its chemical weapons under international control and disassemble them (Military.com Sep. 2013). The Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, said, “We are calling on the Syrian leadership to not only agree on placing chemical weapons storage sites under international control, but also on its subsequent destruction and fully joining the treaty on prohibition of chemical weapons.” Syria maintains that the rebels launched the chemical attack to entice the U.S. into war. There is question as to whether Russian will back Syria in the fight if the U.S. attacks. Up till now, it sounds like they do not plan to engage in a war but their main goal is to come to a political solution instead. However, there have been statements made about Russia having reaction plans if a strike were to occur.

Israel – U.S. Ally

With Israel being a U.S. ally, there is concern that a strike on Syria would result in a strike on Israel. Israel plans to assist the U.S. with missile systems and reinforcements if Obama gets the go-ahead (worldnews.com). To further add to this layered issue, some Israelis think it’s possible that if there is not an attack, Iran (Syrian Ally) may feel empowered to continue its alleged nuclear program.

China

China discourages intervention from the U.S. It prefers this issue to be handled by the United Nations Security Council. It wants this situation to be handled through the correct political channels. It wants an unbiased investigation by the U.N. The Chinese believe oil prices will be negatively impacted if this strike is allowed.

There are so many layers in this situation. There is turmoil between countries and within the U.S. government about whether or not to strike Syria. Allies from both sides pose a problem.