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The Recent Attack In Syria Got Headlines, But Others There Haven't

Just this year, there've been multiple reported chlorine attacks throughout Syria.
Posted at 6:07 PM, Apr 09, 2018

On Saturday evening, a rebel-held enclave near Syria's capital was hit with what looked like another chemical weapons attack, according to video footage. Aid groups say more than 42 people were killed.

U.S. President Donald Trump responded by saying there'll be a "big price to pay" and that "nothing is off the table."

It's quite the bold statement. Especially considering the last time a known major chemical weapon attack happened almost exactly a year ago, Trump responded by shooting off 59 Tomahawk missiles at a Syrian government air force base.

But here's the thing — activists on the ground have reported multiple chemical weapon attacks since those strikes last year, including at least three suspected chlorine attacks around where this most recent attack took place in Douma.

Another chlorine attack was in Saraqib, a city in the rebel-held enclave of Idlib, in northwestern Syria. The State Department condemned the attack and noted it was the sixth such attack in the span of a month, but nothing else was done.

The administration's inaction even prompted The New York Times' editorial board to pen an opinion piece demanding Trump push for an end to the attacks.

So what makes this attack different? Well, the death toll from the other attacks wasn't nearly as high.

This most recent attack was also followed by multiple graphic videos from anti-government activists showing the bodies of the men, women and children reportedly killed by the chemicals.

The high death toll coupled with graphic images flowing from the rebel enclave may have prompted Trump's strong response. Those same factors preceded Trump's attack last year.

But if Syria's recent conduct is any sign, a few Tomahawks won't stop the use of chemical weapons in the country.