Syria’s Chemical Weapons Attack on Civilians and Iran’s Role in the Conflict


The international community is understandably outraged about the chemical weapons attack in Douma by Syria, which left over 50 people dead – mainly women and children – and thousands injured. 

The horrific chemical weapons attack on civilians by Syrian regime and its allies in Iran was followed the next day by a missile strike on a Syrian airbase that killed 14, including a number of Iranian regime’s fighters.

It is unclear who launched the missile attack on Syrian airbase, but some people blamed Israel, potentially backed by the US, which led to Russian President Vladimir Putin warning of “grave consequences” if the US attacks the Syrian regime’s forces and stationing Russian troops near the Homs airfield. This comes only shortly after Donald Trump promised a “forceful” Western military response to the chemical weapons attack on civilians in Douma.

This means that the Syrian civil war could escalate from a civil war to a regional one or even more. However, it is obvious that there is a significant difference between an isolated strike on a military base and attacking unarmed civilians – particularly women and children – with chemical weapons as part of a campaign that has so far killed 1,700 civilians.

The question is what Iranian troops were doing in the airbase? Iran has given two reasons for their involvement in Syria so far. They’re allegedly either defeating ISIS, that have already been crushed, or defending the shrines, which are hundreds of miles away.

The answer is that Iran intends to keep Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in power for two reasons. First, they think that this will make Assad grateful enough to turn Syria into a vassal state as part of Iran’s Shiite Crescent across the Middle East.

Second, they believe that by crushing the Syrian Resistance they can discourage the Iranian Resistance that wants to see a regime change in Iran. 

Iran regime has placed literally thousands of troops into Syria (roughly 25,000), providing them with training and weaponry, to fight the Syrian people and keep Assad in power. But importantly, they have lost more than 10% of these fighters so far. Thus, it seems obvious that despite their bravado, their fight against the Syrian Resistance is failing.

Many fear that the Syrian conflict will only spiral into perpetual war, but if international sanctions were placed on Iran, it would decrease their funding for the conflict and allow the Iranian people to rise up against the mullahs in Iran and bring peace and security to the entire region.