Last week, the Syrian government carried out a chemical attack in the city of Khan Sheikhoun killing and injuring hundreds of civilians in its wake. The United Nations describes the attack as one of the worst atrocities committed during the Syrian civil war.
Gruesome photos of the aftermath of the attack flooded the internet this week. Images of the dead and ill show only a fraction of the horror that occurred Tuesday morning. However, the chemical attack in Syria has gained global attention from foreign leaders including the U.S. The Syrian government has not claimed responsibility for the attack, but the United Nations are prepared to declare this a war crime.
Thursday evening, the U.S. became more involved in the Syrian conflict than ever before. President Donald Trump ordered an air strike on the suspected Syrian military base that launched the chemical attack. President Trump launched 59 Tomahawk missiles in order to punish Syrian President Bashar Assad; leaving the military base in shambles and is the most aggressive military involvement since the Syrian civil war.
Since the attack, President Trump has received both harsh criticism and appraisal for his decision. One of his biggest critics includes Russian President Vladimir Putin, one of Trump's closest allies since his election. Russia has had close involvement in supporting the Syrian government since the uprising. President Putin has called the U.S.'s attack in Syria a "significant blow" to the U.S.-Russian relationship. At home, former presidential candidate Hilliary Clinton issued a statement on the attack saying "The U.S. cannot, in one breath, speak of protecting Syrian babies and close America's door to them."
However, President Trump has received appraisal from Turkey, Isreal, and Sudi Arabia. A Saudi official calls the strike a "courageous decision" made by President Trump. President Trump has also received support from the UK Government who "fully supports" his decision.
But most of all, the reaction back in the United States has been had been nerve wracking. While most Americans agree that the atrocities committed in the Syrian gas attacks are completely uncalled for, many feel that the US should not be getting involved in the conflict. While this is an extremely complex moral decision, the world will be watching as US officials gather and plan what their next move shall be.