Syria Overview: Political Impact

By KARINA MATOS

Syria’s possession of chemical weapons is a very serious matter, and many major countries have strong opinions on what should be done about it. On Sept. 10th, U.S. President Barack Obama postponed a Congress vote on military action in Syria to try and work things out diplomatically.

When President Obama finally decided to take military action after the chemical attack in the Ghouta area of Damascus, Syria’s capital, which left hundreds dead, he tried to get support among leaders at the G20 meeting. G20 is “the premier forum for international cooperation on the most important issues of the global economic and financial agenda” according to its website. Ten members of the G20 joined the US in accusing the Syrian government for carrying out the attack and are calling for a strong international response.

The U.K. is working with the US and France for a U.N resolution for Russia putting Syria's chemical weapons under international control. Before this, the MP’s in Parliament rejected the idea of military action, although Prime Minister David Cameron announced at the G20 meeting that the UK would be donating £52m ($80m) to help the civilians who were affected by the chemical weapons. The U.K. was one of the ten members that joined the U.S. to call for international action.

France agreed with the U.S. that force seemed to be necessary, but were willing to wait and see what the U.N. reported about the weapons before military action took place. They were the first to realize there was something going on in Syria, and wanted some sort of strong international response to what was going on.

Russia suggested that potential strikes from the U.S. could be avoided if Syria just gave up their weapons. They suggest that international monitors come in and destroy the weapons, but other countries are unsure of that plan. In an article published by the New York Times President Vladimir Putin said that "a strike would increase violence and unleash a new wave of terrorism.” However, it is proved “beyond doubt” that Mr. Assad had used chemical weapons against his own people. China and Russia both agree that any military action without U.N. approval would be illegal.

Turkey is not happy with Syria and is willing to take action to stop all of this. Turkey was one of the ten at G20 that agreed that some sort of strong response is necessary. Their troops are also on high alert for “threats from Syria.” Turkey even temporarily shut down it’s boarders when fighting between the rebels and Al-Qaeda broke out. However, Turkey has also taken in more than 500,000 Syrian refugees, as well as providing shelter for the rebels.

Many countries are unsure of how to react to such a problem. But mostly they just can’t agree on what they think is the right way to handle the situation.

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