Several news related to Syria and war in the Middle East:
— In Syria, a U.S. coalition airstrike mistakenly killed 18 Syrian “rebel” soldiers who were fighting against ISIS. This was in Tabqah — in the center of Syria — this happened on April 11.
The U.S. coalition said the airstrike was requested by Syrian rebel soldiers on the ground who mistakenly identified them as ISIS. The U.S. coalition said they sent sympathies to the Syrian Democratic Forces and their families. The U.S. military has supported rebels in the area.
— Syrian president al-Assad said his government did not do the chemical attack in Idlib. He said it was a 100% fabrication (lie) — and accused the U.S. of working with terrorists to make up this story so they could do the airstrikes. He even said the pictures of dead children were fake — that they were child actors. So there is a strong denial of responsibility.
— Yesterday the U.S. Sec. of State Tillerson met with Russian Foregin Minister Lavrov in Moscow. Tillerson said relations with Russia was at a low point with a low level of trust between the countries. Tillerson said the chemical attack was done by the Syrian government, but Lavrov said there was not enough evidence to pin the blame on al-Assad and asked for an investigation. Tillerson said al-Assad’s power was coming to an end, but Lavrov said it was not on the Russian agenda (plans) to remove anybody from power.
— The U.N. Security Council wanted to pass a resolution to condemn the chemical attacks in Syria and to identify those responsible and bring them to justice — but it failed because the ambassador for Russia vetoed it. It was the 8th time Russia vetoed a U.N. resolution that was “against” al-Assad’s government.
So there’s a lot of tension between the U.S., Syria, and Russia. But President Trump says things will be ok. See his tweet:
[Tweet: Things will work out fine between the U.S.A. and Russia. At the right time everyone will come to their senses & there will be lasting peace!]
— Today the U.S. military dropped a huge bomb — GBU-43 or “MOAB” (Mother of all Bombs) — which is the largest non-nuclear bomb our military has — in Eastern Afghanistan. It targeted ISIS fighters who were hiding in tunnels and caves. It is the first time the MOAB bomb was used in war. It has a diameter of 2 miles (radius of 1 mile).