Will Syria Yield to the Chemical Weapons Ban?

Will Syria Yield to the Chemical Weapons Ban?

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Interviewee: Lori Esposito Murray, Adjunct Senior Fellow
Interviewer: Zachary Laub, Senior Copy Editor/Writer ,

The U.S. cruise missile strike on a Syrian airfield suspected of launching a chemical weapons attack was described as a matter of “vital national security” by President Donald J. Trump. Though unilateral, the attack has drawn international support and can be justified as enforcing the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), says CFR’s Lori Esposito Murray, a veteran arms control official and former special advisor to the president on the CWC.

Since Syria is a signatory to the 192-member CWC, the aftermath of the most recent chemical attack is far different than that of the 2013 sarin attack, says Murray. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad now faces “not just more international pressure, but legal pressure,” Murray says, “and it provides an even stronger international legal basis for [Trump’s] action.”

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