A minimum of 85 fatalities was reported by medical staff and assorted rescue workers as a result of a chemical attack in Douma, a Syrian rebel-controlled town. The attack has ignited world outrage and revulsion. US President Donald J. Trump warned the Assad Government of punitive measures. True to his signature style, Trump took to Social Media to hammer the message home. Two countries were targets of his Twitter outburst- Syria and Russia. Turkey, a US ally, said that it is impossible to justify such attacks under any circumstances.
Russia and Trump threat
Both Russia and Assad Government denied using chemical weapons. They allege that such reports are “fabrications”. These reports are termed “provocations” by Russian foreign ministry. Moscow warned that there should not be any military intervention under such fabricated causes.
President Trump's threat came almost one year after the US military fired cruise missiles towards a Syrian airbase as a retaliation after a sarin gas attack occurred at Khan Sheikhoun, a rebel-held Syrian city. The attack was a deadly one and resulted in the death of scores of ordinary Syrian citizens. When asked, Tom Bossert, the adviser to Homeland security, told the media that all options to punish Syria are on. The questioner had asked whether the United States could respond with missile attacks.
France and the EU
Jean-Yves Le Drian, the French Foreign Minister, said that France condemns such bombings and attacks by Syrian Government forces in Douma. He added that they violate all international humanitarian law. He referred to the warnings given by French President Emmanuel Macron that Paris could strike on its own in case of deadly chemical attacks. He said that France would take all responsibility in the consequent fight against chemical weapons' proliferation. The White Helmets in Syria, one of the first responders in Syria's rebel-controlled areas, claimed that the attack on April 8 involved the bombardment of poisonous chlorine gas.
The European Union commented on the attack. It asked for a global response, saying that all the evidence points to another chemical by the Assad regime. In its statement, the EU expressed grave concern on the use of chemical weapons, condemning in the harshest terms any instance of chemical weapons use. There were calls for an immediate response by the international community. The European Union also asked the United Nations Security Council to re-establish checks so the perpetrators of all such chemical attacks are identified. It also asked Iran and Russia, the closest ally of the Assad Government in Syria, to utilize their influence to stop further attacks.