Russia warned on Friday that U.S. cruise missile strikes on a Syrian air base could have “extremely serious” consequences, as President Donald Trump’s first major foray into a foreign conflict opened up a rift between Moscow and Washington.
The United States launched a military strike Thursday on a Syrian government target in retaliation for their chemical weapons attack on civilians earlier in the week.
Tragedy struck Russia on Christmas after a Russian military plane en route to Syria crashed into the Back Sea, the Associated Press reports. The Tu-154 aircraft reportedly had 92 passengers on board, including the official military choir who were traveling to the Russian Hemeimeem air base in Syria’s coastal province of Latakia for a scheduled New Year’s Eve performance. There was no sign of survivors, according to the Russian defense ministry.
All war is horrific, but some aspects of war are more horrific than others. The death toll of Syria’s civil war was estimated last winter at 470,000, each a singular tragedy. Yet it’s often particular weapons, used on particular targets, that cause international condemnation. When the State Department announced on Monday that the United States was suspending efforts to work with Russia on a ceasefire in Syria, the State Department listed in particular the targeting of civilians and aid convoys as the reason for the halt.
Dozens of air strikes hit rebel-held areas of the northern Syrian city of Aleppo overnight, a monitor and defense worker said, continuing a fierce air campaign by Syrian government and allied forces since a ceasefire broke down almost a week ago.
The Syrian civil war has been raging for half a decade now, and the scars show more than ever. The drone footage below show parts of suburban Syria totally destroyed for as far as the eye can see. It is amazing to think that humans live in this horrific battle zone, but they do.
The world has changed a lot in the past 12 months, with political conflict focusing the world on immediate crises, not the distant future. But a group of scientists are are showing how these conflicts will affect our ability to adapt to climate change down the road–and our ability to survive as a human race.