Issue Brief on “The Escalating Crisis in Syria”

On April 14, in a move likely to only contribute to an already volatile situation, the United States and its British and French allies conducted airstrikes on three targets outside Damascus and Homs in Syria as a rejoinder to an alleged chemical attack by the Syrian government on Douma, the last rebel-held town in the Eastern Ghouta region of Syria. The aim of the airstrikes was to destroy the Syrian government’s chemical weapons facilities.

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is currently inspecting the deaths of dozens of people in the enclave outside of the Syrian capital. The mission was delayed by a week before it could get to sites it deemed of interest. Western powers have accused Russia and Syria of using obstructionist tactics to delay the investigation process and of interfering with evidence that may have pointed to government involvement. This has been categorically denied by the accused parties.

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