The U.S., the UK, and France have launched a joint military attack on Syrian chemical weapon facilities. President Donald Trump and the two European leaders stressed that the goal was to stop any further use of chemical weapons.
The use of chemical weapons, which is banned under international treaties on weapons of mass destruction, is absolutely impermissible. These three countries took action to substantiate their conviction.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe indicated his support for their resolve and stated that he “understands this to be a measure to prevent the aggravation of the situation.” The international community must cooperate in working for an early settlement of the crisis.
Syria is in a quagmire of civil war embroiling the major powers and its neighbors. Taking military action would have been risky. Yet the local people were suffering from the repeated use of chemical weapons. Use of force was inevitable inasmuch as a diplomatic solution was unlikely.
The Assad regime has promised to discard its chemical weapons and Russia is supposed to be its overseer. Yet, each time there was suspected use of chemical weapons, both countries merely denied that the Assad regime used such weapons; they have not made any efforts to investigate the matter.
The air strikes by the regime’s armed forces outside the capital Damascus early this month resulted in numerous casualties. However, the UN Security Council (UNSC), which needs to deal with this inhuman act, has not been able to pass even one resolution to investigate into the air strikes due to conflict between the Western countries and Russia.
In particular, Russia has vetoed resolutions on the Syrian civil war, including the latest case, for a total of 12 times. As a UNSC permanent member, it is extremely irresponsible.
Still, there is no other way out of the Syria issue unless the U.S. and Russia engage in dialogue in good faith, including at the UNSC.
North Korea, which is going to engage in dialogue on denuclearization, is also considered a threat with regard to the development of chemical weapons. It should get the U.S.’s strong message from the Syria attack that the U.S. would not hesitate to use force if North Korea refuses to abandon its development of nuclear arms and missiles. (Slightly abridged)