On April 7th, up to 75 men, women and children were killed and hundreds were injured in a chemical weapons attack in Douma in Syria.
This is not the first time chemical weapons have been used during the country’s ongoing civil war. Other attacks include one in 2013 when 800 people were killed in an attack in Ghouta and just last year, sarin gas was used, killing 100 people and injuring around 500 more.
The Prime Minister said in Parliament this week that ‘a significant body of information – including intelligence – indicates the Syrian Regime is responsible for this latest attack.’
We cannot tolerate chemical weapons being used and therefore the world needed to respond in a decisive manner. Too many people have died and been hurt as a result of these weapons.
It is often said the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing and I think this is one of those situations.
The response to this attack by Britain and our allies in France and the United States was proportional and targeted at very specific sites in a bid to degrade the Syrian regime’s chemical weapons capability. It sends a clear message that there is no place for chemical weapons being used.
This action was supported not just by Britain, France and America, but by every country in NATO, the European Union and most other countries around the world.
Some people have said that UN backing was needed for this kind of response, but when we have tried to get backing for action it was always vetoed by Russia which is supporting President Assad and his evil regime. Just this week, Russia bizarrely accused Britain of staging this chemical attack, so we know it accepts that chemical weapons were used in Douma and that an attack took place.
Inspectors are near Douma and ready to investigate this attack, but they will be limited as to what they find out as they are not charged with investigating who has done this.
Our response to this barbaric attack on innocent people serves as a deterrent against future chemical attacks and we should be open in our condemnation of President Assad who has, not for the first time, poisoned his own citizens. We should also be critical of the support Russia gives him.