Protest called after Donald Trump launches anti-Assad airstrike attack in Syria

Fears expanded US bombing campaign will mean more bloodshed in Syria 

US PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP launched airstrikes against a Syrian government military base early this morning [Friday 7 April] - in a change of policy back to a hard-line anti-Assad position for the United States military. 

The cruise missile airstrike, although only one of nearly 8,000 in the US bombing campaign since August 2014, marks a rise in tension following a reported chemical attack on a Syrian rebel held town. Trump, who had previously opposed confrontation with the Syrian regime, said the attack was ordered to “deter the spread and use of deadly chemical weapons”. 

The escalation was in response to reports of a chemical attack in Khan Sheikhoun, where at least 80 people were killed in a suspected chemical attack. Opposition and Western groups blame the Syrian military - while the Syrian Government denies using chemical weapons and said the US response is “aggressive”. 

Western forces have targeted Daesh (Islamic State) as part of a two and a half year bombing campaign, first in support of certain Syrian rebel groups as part of a wider civil war. However, the Syrian military is also fighting Daesh - raising difficult questions about who would fill the vacuum if the Syrian forces were forced from power. 

The US bombing also raises the prospect of ending any US-Russia entente, following repeated praise between Trump and Russian leader Vladimir Putin. Russia remains an ally of President Assad and the Syrian government. 

“This action will only increase the level of killing in Syria, and inflame the terrible war that has already caused untold misery for the people of the country.” Stop The War

Peace campaigners in the UK based Stop the War group are planning a protest in London tonight [Friday 7 April] against the latest bombing. A spokesperson said: “This action will only increase the level of killing in Syria, and inflame the terrible war that has already caused untold misery for the people of the country.

“​​This is the worst possible way to respond to the indefensible attack at Khan Sheikhun. As well as ​deepening​ the tragedy of the Syrian people, ​this utterly​​ irresponsible act ​threatens to widen the war and lead the West into military confrontation with Russia. ​ 

Read more - Civilians deaths soar into thousands from UK-US bombing campaign in Iraq-Syria

​“It is shameful that​ Theresa May​ has rushed to support this act by the most xenophobic and reactionary US president in history. ​

​“Stop the War calls for protests today against th​is​ or any further attacks​ and against British support or participation. The protest in London will take place today at​ Downing Street​ from 5pm to 7pm.” 

Explainer: Beyond bombing: 5 things you need to know about the Syrian conflict

Earlier this week CommonSpace reported that over 70,000 bombs have killed at least 2,831 civilians in the continuing war of attrition across Iraq-Syria by the Western-led coalition bombing campaign, according to a monitoring group. That figure has since been updated to 2,978 civilian deaths in the nearly 1,000 day long campaign. 

Picture courtesy of a.anis

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