Russia Stands by Assad After Chemical Weapons Attack

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.

Russia Stands by Assad After Chemical Weapons Attack

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.

What next

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

Steve Bannon Dropped from US Security Council

Steve Bannon, a senior strategist in President Trump’s administration has lost his seat on the National Security Council, falling victim to the ongoing high-profile shakeup. However, his removal may have been a long time coming, seeing as his very elevation to a permanent spot on the council was widely criticized as a blatant attempt to infiltrate politics into the often-perceived impartial and professional body. Many pundits argued that he was not fit for a position in the sensitive defense, intelligence and foreign policy matters.

Who is Bannon

Bannon is a former head of the right-wing website Breitbart and currently holds the position of chief White House strategist. He is seen as one of the controversial forces of the nationalistic and anti-globalism agenda, the very agenda that was used to propel president Trump to power. Now, his miseries may not be over even after his removal from the US Security Council as his very White House appointment has stirred debate across the political divide. Pundits argue that having played a pivotal role in the Republican agenda of anti-globalism, his appointment into these professional organs may bring about unwarranted interests, hence defeating the very purpose for which the organs stand for –that of fostering global security and public relations.

Steve Bannon Dropped from US Security Council

Bannon’s Removal

The first reports of his removal from the council came with the conspicuous absence of his name on the regular attendees list as per a presidential memo dated 4th April. Reporting outside the White House, Al Jazeera’s Kimberly Halkett observed that Bannon’s removal from the list was a welcome relief, seeing as his appointment was made at the expense of the removal of two key roles namely; the joint chiefs and the director of national intelligence.

How Bannon got on the Security Council

According to a senior White House official, Bannon found his way on the council immediately after the inauguration of the president and his placement in there was purely meant to advance the president’s vision, among which included efforts to streamline the council operations. Perhaps more interestingly is the fact that the official remarks that contrary to popular perception, the appointment of Bannon to the council did not have any direct bearing on the woes of the first national security adviser of president Trump, Michael Flynn, who was at the helm during his appointment. It can be remembered that Flynn would later be asked to resign on account of misleading the administration with regards to the alleged involvement of Russia in the November elections and the entire administration of president Trump. It is hardly 4 months since Trump assumed power and the way things are shaping up, it is unclear how the face of his administration and crucial organs will look like when he is done making the adjustments.