Khan Shaykhun Bombing

Khan Shaykhun Bombing

Updated Apr 20, 2017 at 04:55PM EDT by James.

Added Apr 07, 2017 at 12:53PM EDT by Don.

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Overview

The Khan Shaykhun Bombing refers to an airstrike against the town Khan Shaykhun in Syria, during which a toxic gas killed 74 people and injured an additional 557. Following the attack, United States President Donald Trump issued a strike against the Syrian Shayrat Air Base in retaliation.

Background

On April 4th, 2017, Khan Shaykhun, a town controlled by the Jihadist rebel group Tahrir al-Sham was struck by a heavy airstrike carried out by the Syrian government. Shortly after, a toxic gas was released in the area, which killed upwards of 74 people and injured more than 557, according to reports by the Idlib health authority.[2] On April 5th, the Al Jazeera English Facebook[5] page posted graphic footage following the aftermath of the attack, which gathered upwards of 12 million views and 13,000 comments within 48 hours.

Developments

Russian and Syrian Government Response

Following the attack, the Russian government claimed that the release of the gas was due to the airstrike hitting a chemical weapons factory, and that it was not part of the payload itself. Additionally, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem claimed that the Syrian armed forces "did not and will not" use chemical weapons:

"I stress to you once again: the Syrian army has not, did not and will not use this kind of weapons โ€“ not just against our own people, but even against the terrorists that attack our civilians with their mortar rounds."[4]

Meanwhile, former British Army colonel Hamish de Bretton-Gordon contradicted the claims, arguing that "if you blow up sarin you destroy it." However, a UN official who led an operation to remove Syria's chemical weapons claimed that if sarin gas had been stored in a location that was bombed, there was "every possibility" that "Sarin liquid was ejected and could well have affected the population."

False Flag Speculation

Following the bombing, some began speculating that the release of the sarin gas was a false flag attack carried out by other groups to frame the Syrian government, including former Texas congressman Ron Paul (shown below).



Shayrat Missile Strike

On the evening of April 6th, 2017, United States President Donald Trump ordered the launch of 59 Tomahwak cruise missiles at the Shayrat Air Base in Homs Governorate, Syria, which was suspected of being the aircraft base that carried out the Khan Shaykhun chemical attack. According to a White House official, upwards of 24 members of Congress were briefed prior to the airstrike. Following the airstrike, the Syrian state media referred to the bombing as an "act of aggression" and a spokesperson for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad condemned it as "unjust," "arrogant" and "outrageous."

Online Reaction

Shortly after the Sharyrat airstrike, Twitter user @mrfeelswildride[1] tweeted a picture of Hillary Clinton along with the caption "when the dev says there are multiple endings but they're really all the same" (shown below). Meanwhile, a post about the conflict was stickied on /r/OutOfTheLoop.[11]


when the dev says there are multiple endings but they re really all the same Trump launches military strike against Syria RETWEETS LIKES 1,453 2,900 8:48 PM-6 Apr 2017 https:/larchive.is/liFcL

Additionally, various memes joking about the incident reached the front page of /r/dankmemes (shown below).[6][7][8][9][10]



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