dimanche 30 août 2020

Foreword to the book Syria: Borders, Boundaries, and the State

The following text is Nassima Neggaz and Ziad Majed's foreword to "Syria: Borders, Boundaries, and the State", edited by Matthieu Cimino and published by Palgrave Macmillan, UK, 2020.
The book gathers a series of papers presented in a conference organized at the University of Oxford in November 2017.

vendredi 21 août 2020

The Crossing of the "Red Line" in Syria: The Use of Chemical Weapons as Turning Point

The following paragraphs are translated excerpts from "Syrie, la revolution orpheline” (Syria, the Orphaned revolution) published in Arabic in December 2013 and in French in March 2014.
In August 2012, Obama responded to the violence of the Assad regime by drawing a single “red line”: that of chemical weapons use. This line clearly indicated that America wanted to avoid intervening directly in the conflict; it also suggested—albeit implicitly—that while the use of “strategic” weaponry would not be tolerated by Washington, the continuation of massacres with traditional weapons would be.

Feeling unthreatened by a possible American intervention, the regime deployed its arsenal in the repression—i.e., ballistic missiles, tanks, and other heavy weapons. It even probed US determination regarding chemical weapons by using Sarin gas on a few occasions, as many medical reports have demonstrated [1].