Friday, October 11, 2013

Blog 5: Syrian Government Uses Incendiaries Against it's Own Citizens

Over the past several months much attention has been paid to the civil war in Syria. There were great discussions and calls for investigation by the UN whether or not chemical weapons had been used against citizens. This article from CNN reports that in one particular attack those incendiary weapons were used. Rola Hallam, a doctor who was working in a Syrian hospital back in August describes that within a short time period a large group of people were suddenly rushed into the hospital with severe burns. The victims stated that incendiary devices were dropped from a government fighter jet onto a school and local residences. A United Nations report created about this attack says that fifty people suffered from burns and eight students died. Hallam and her colleagues happened to have been filming for a BBC production that day so they have now released the footage to show the victims of whom most had burns over eighty percent of their bodies and were not expected to survive.
According to our textbook, in chapter six, incendiaries are a type of weapon of mass destruction that uses chemicals to ignite hard to extinguish flames. The United Nations has laws against the use of chemical weapons. These weapons are used to create terror which is a control mechanism for those in power. The UN Declaration of Human Rights states that “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.” This attack was a direct violation of this right. These citizens were not actively defying the government or taking part in the country’s civil war, they were at home and at school. This example of total warfare shows the dramatic shift of the nature of war. These people were maimed and/or killed, but for what purpose? If attacks like these occur without anyone stopping them or finding ways to prevent them in the future? Who is to say that these attacks will not grow to an even larger scale or that another nation or group could not do the same? The purpose of human rights are that they are rights for all and that in our ever narrowing world we must all work to protect each other because what effects one can effect anyone.

Nicole Egna
1:15 PM

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