Protests in Chile, Argentina against U.S. airstrikes on Syria

SANTIAGO – Nearly a hundred people gathered yesterday outside the U.S. Embassy in Chile’s capital city Santiago to protest against the recent airstrikes on Syria ordered by the Trump administration.

Syrians and Chileans attending at the rally denounced the latest escalation by Washington as an act of aggression against a sovereign nation, and manifested their support to the Syrian people and its institutions.

The Monday’s protest was preceded by a rally outside the Syrian Embassy in Chile on Saturday.

Demonstrations also took place in other countries across Latin America, such as Bolivia and Argentina.

On Saturday, hundreds of protesters defied the rain and rallied in front of the U.S. Embassy in Buenos Aires.

Syria ‘chemical attack’

More than 80 people including a dozen children were killed in a suspected chemical attack on the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun in north-western Syria.

Warplanes attacked Khan Sheikhoun, about 50km (30 miles) south of the city of Idlib, early on April 4 (Tuesday), when many people were asleep. Hundreds suffered symptoms consistent with reaction to a nerve agent after what the opposition and Western powers said was a Syrian government air strike on the area on Tuesday morning.

The Syrian military denied any chemical agents, while its ally Russia said an air strike hit a rebel depot full of chemical munitions.

Sarin is highly toxic and considered 20 times as deadly as cyanide. It is almost impossible to detect because it is a clear, colorless and tasteless liquid that has no odour in its purest form. It can also evaporate and spread through the air.

The U.S. fired 59 cruise missiles at Syria’s Shayrat airbase last Thursday, following the suspected chemical attack a day before.

According to authorities, the “measured response” by the U.S. had “resulted in the damage or destruction of fuel and ammunition sites, air defense capabilities and 20% of Syria’s operational aircraft”.