As much as we try to distract ourselves from the turbulence in our world, it’s been nearly impossible to ignore the news for the past two weeks. When headlines like “Trump Launches Missile Strike Against Syria” and “US Drops ‘Mother of all Bombs'” blow up our news feeds, we can’t help but feel confused or even slightly scared. Valley has a guide to the events of the last two weeks that answers the “what?” and “why?” questions we all need to know to stay informed about recent foreign affairs.
April 6: President Trump orders missile strike against Syria
Under direction from President Trump and his military advisers, United States warships launched 59 Tomahawk missiles, each weighing about 1,000 pounds, onto Al Shayrat Airfield in central Syria. The strike took place at 3:40 a.m. Syrian local time, when few personnel were thought to be on the base. The strike demobilized a portion of Syrian combat airport. This order was President Trump’s first major military action in his 11-week presidency.
The US missile launch was in response to a chemical weapons attack that killed dozens of Syrian civilians, . The missile attacked targeted aircraft, logistic storage and petroleum, among other things, that were believed to be utilized during the chemical attack. The was attack reportedly carried out by 17-year Syrian president Bashar al-Assad. At least 70 people, including at least 10 children, were poisoned by sarin gas leading to the inhibition The chemical attacks were aimed at the city of Khan Sheikhoun, a Syrian rebel stronghold.
April 13: US Drops “Mother of All Bombs” on ISIS in Afghanistan
The US drops GBU-43/B Massive Ordinance Air Blast bomb a.k.a Mother of All Bombs on Nangarhar Province in western Afghanistan. The bomb, the largest non-nuclear bomb in the US arsenal, targeted an ISIS encampment with a sophisticated tunnel system. An estimated several hundred ISIS fighters and a extensive weapons stockpile were believed to be housed in the area. This was the first time the MOAB had ever been used.
The MOAB is not nicknamed the mother of all bombs for no reason. This 21,000 pound bomb was chosen by the US military because of its capability to destroy underground tunnel systems that would otherwise take multiple, less-powerful bombs to destroy. The encampment that the MOAB sought to decimate was a main storage area for weapons with potential to be used in terrorist attacks. President Trump approved the large-scale attack as an attempt to back his campaign promises of eliminating ISIS.
April 16: North Korea Attempts to Test Nuclear Weapons
Rogue authoritarian communist-ruled nation, North Korea, attempted to test a medium-range ballistic missile which failed almost immediately after launch. This action was in direct defiance of The United Nation’s demands to cease weapons testing indefinitely.
The attempted launch comes after the 105th anniversary of Kim II Sung’s birth, the country’s founder and grandfather of current North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. On April 15, the country celebrated by the millions on the streets of capital Pyongyang where a military parade showcased new missiles and launchers.
These headlines are so much more than just a trending hashtag. Stay objective and stay informed!