• The children are the first to die

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    FR. SHAY CULLEN, SSC

    The children of Khan Sheikhoun were the first to suffer as the suspected nerve gas sarin, a fast-killing agent, damaged their lungs and caused racking pain. As they tried to breath, they started to foam at the mouth. Twenty died horrible deaths at the last count, there may be more. By Wednesday, April 5, at least 72 people had died and over a hundred more were struggling for life in makeshift clinics. One clinic treating the victims of the sarin attack was targeted and hit by a Syrian rocket.

    Such barbaric war crimes are revolting and cry out for justice. But where are the countries with any moral values that will try and investigate and gather the evidence and bring Assad or the Russian military that are propping up the former’s cruel torturing regime to justice? Will someone give the rebels weapons to defeat the death-dealing helicopters that are dropping the sarin gas on civilians?

    The gas attack mounted by the brutal regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is indeed a heinous crime against the people of Syria. He has crossed the American red line laid down by President Obama some years ago. In 2013, the Syrian regime used sarin gas and killed more than 1,300 civilians.

    Assad and the Russians brokered a deal to avoid the US entering the war by surrendering what was supposed to be his remaining chemical weapons. It is clear that he has used chlorine bombs dropped from helicopters 24 times on civilians for several years and since 2013 has on two occasions dropped sarin gas bombs on the civilians. The last sarin attack in December 2016 killed 93 people in eastern Hama. Now this attack on Idlib.

    The world accepted this as normal and took no action, only condemning the attacks. He will pay no penalty now, no red line, and why is that?

    Assad must be brought to justice. He should not be supported, aided or abetted by Iran and Russia. They have denied any responsibility and blamed the rebels in Idlib for having sarin gas on hand. In other words, they gassed themselves, Assad said. Experts say that this is highly unlikely.

    Assad has been described as a war criminal and he has once again crossed the US red line against the use of chemical weapons. The war is now six years old and millions of people have fled the country. There are 20,000 or more dead and at least five million displaced. Syrian government warplanes backed by Russian military power had reduced once developed cities into crumbling ruins. They have wreaked havoc and killed hundreds of civilians.

    It was the threat of US intervention by Obama that caused Assad to surrender his chemical weapons, but did he give up all of them? It’s clear that he kept some sarin and had lots of chlorine.

    President Trump took a moral stand when he ordered an attack against Syria. But will he arm the US backed-rebels with ground-to-air shoulder-fired missiles to take out the bomb dropping helicopters?

    That’s what the US did in the rebel war against the occupying Russians in Afghanistan.

    So the community of nations is faced with this horrific war of endless war crimes and enormous human suffering.

    The all-group negotiations in Geneva have gone nowhere and Assad is strengthening his bargaining position by intense attacks. He has no intention of making a deal. He is hell-bent to annihilate the rebels and regain total power and continue as the cruel dictator of Syria.

    shaycullen@preda.org
    www.preda.org

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