Sadly, it seems that for a cause to really get noticed by the rest of the world pictures of a deceased infant have to emerge.
This was true with Alan Kurdi, the three-year old Syrian boy whose tiny, lifeless body on a beach showed the tragic plight of refugees. And it was true again last week when heartbreaking photos emerged of a Syrian dad cradling his dead twin babies, who were just nine-months old.
They were victims of the horrendous gas attack that left 85 people dead, including 30 children. In response to the attack Donald Trump ordered a major missile strike on tactical targets in Syria. The President released a statement disclosing his reasoning for the attack in which he said:
It is in the vital national security interest of the United States to prevent and deter the spread and use of deadly chemical weapons.
There can be no dispute that Syria used banned chemical weapons, violated its obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention and ignored the urging of the United Nations Security Council.
Now footage has emerged of the 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles leaving the U.S. ship stationed in the Mediterranean.
The attacks hit several key military sites and are believed to have caused six casualties. Russia, Syrians biggest ally, were warned about the impending attacks so that they could remove any troops on the ground.
However, Putin was furious with what he called “an act of aggression against a sovereign state,” and had a Russian troop been caught up in the strikes, we could be looking at hugely significant repercussions. This fact makes Trump’s decision particularly risky, although you could argue something had to be done after the horrendous gas attack on civilians.
The strikes were something of a departure for the Trump administration, who had claimed many times in the last six-months that they were opposed to any kind of intervention in Syria.
The response on social media was predictably mixed, with some claiming Trump was the worst president of all time, while others arguing the president had no choice but to act.
Whatever side of the fence you’re on, it’s undeniable that tensions between Syria/Russia and the U.S. are uncomfortably high right now. With so much nuclear capacity at the flick of a finger, the next few months could be a very nervous time.