Syrians rally against U.S.-led strike
by Onize Ohikere
Posted 4/16/18, 11:10 am
Hundreds of Syrians on Monday gathered in the central Omayyad Square in Damascus to show support for the country’s armed forces after the United States and its Western allies targeted Syria with retaliatory airstrikes over the weekend. The United States, Britain, and France, struck sites linked to Syria’s chemical weapons program after reports of a chemical attack April 7 in the Syrian town of Douma. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his chief ally, Russia, both denied the chemical attack took place. Syria claimed its air defenses shot down most of the Saturday missiles, but the Pentagon said the country did not engage any of the missiles. Protesters praised the Syrian army for confronting the attack as they waved Syrian flags and shouted “Allah, Syria, and only Bashar.” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the strikes would reduce Syria’s ability to carry out further chemical attacks and send a “clear message” to Assad, Russia, and Iran that the use of chemical weapons is unacceptable. In a Sunday statement, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the airstrikes violated the United Nations charter and “will inevitably entail chaos in international relations,” should they continue. U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said the United States will impose additional sanctions on Russia after it blocked the UN Security Council six times from investigating the chemical weapon attack. “Everyone is going to feel it at this point,” Haley said. “The international community will not allow chemical weapons to come back into our everyday life.”
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Onize is a reporter for WORLD Digital based in Abuja, Nigeria.