Daily Video

April 5, 2017

U.S. condemns chemical weapons attack in Syria

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  • A chemical weapons attack killed dozens of civilians in a rebel-held town in Idlib province in Syria early Tuesday morning.
  • The attack was one of the worst in Syria’s six-year civil war, in which more than 470,000 Syrians have died.
  • The U.S. blamed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Witnesses and activists said the toxic chemicals were delivered by Syrian and Russian jets, but the two nations denied involvement.
  • President Donald Trump said Assad’s actions were “heinous,” and blamed former President Barack Obama’s administration for not doing more to intervene earlier in the war. After the Ghouta chemical attack in Syria in 2013, Trump had argued against U.S. military action in Syria, tweeting that Obama should not attack Syria.
  • The Assad regime has carried out multiple chemical weapon attacks since 2013, despite signing an agreement to dismantle their stockpile, according to Andrew Tabler of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

  1. Essential question: Why is the use of chemical weapons seen as a war crime and a violation of international treaties?
  2. How long has the Syrian civil war been going on? If you are not familiar with the conflict in Syria, where would be a good place to start your research?
  3. What is the U.S. government’s stance on Syria’s war under President Trump? Do you agree or disagree with this view? Explain your answer.
  4. How might a civil war in another part of the world affect the United States? The international community? What about you, personally?
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