Turning in chemical weapons is not enough

The conflict in Syria has dominated headlines for weeks with each resolution attempt seeming more desperate than the last.

According to NPR, U.S. talks with Russia and Syria on Sept. 9 led to a consensus in which Secretary of State John Kerry announced that if Syrian President Bashar al-Assad turned in his chemical weapons stockpile to international control, the U.S. would hold back on airstrikes.

The irony in this agreement is that the chemical weapons would be turned in to Russia, who is a strong ally of Syria, and also one of its main weapon suppliers, according to CBS News.

According to an ABC News article, Russia has no problem with selling weapons to the Syrian government. This is disturbing, considering they’re being used on innocent civilians -— Russia getting
its hands on Syria’s chemical
weapons is no more comforting than having them remain in the Syrian government’s control.

During the UN General Assembly early Tuesday, President Barack Obama stated once again that any resolution made by the Security Council should be monitored with strict enforcement and that the world will not stand aside as Assad gasses his people with chemical weapons.

This statement has been given plenty of times and Obama’s words no longer have any credibility, as shown by his empty threats to strike Syria and promises to provide aid to Syrian rebels.

Although the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons announced that the Syrian government has submitted
an outline of its chemical
weapons stockpile, no progress has been shown of these weapons getting anywhere out of Syrian control.

While Obama seems to be seeking some justice for the chemical attack, more needs to be done than just removing chemical weapons from Syria.

The deed has been done.

More than 1,400 people have been killed from the chemical attack that was believed to have been carried out by the Syrian government, and taking the chemical weapons away from Assad is not a sufficient sentence.

But Obama cannot bring justice to such an issue alone.

The international community needs to take action against the dictator and make sure that his removal from power is final.

For any real change to happen, the initiator of such horror must be removed and punished. Stalling the process by asking Assad to turn in the chemical weapons, which according to him, can take up to a year, is prolonging his rule and giving him the freedom to kill many more people.

While the international
community continues it’s
discussion over the issue, the Syrian government goes
unpunished for the countless lives it has brutally taken away.


Lama Alqasemi is a freshman majoring in mass communications.