Note: This is a guest post by Ty Solomon, Lecturer at the University of Glasgow
Even though the war in Syria has been raging for the past two years, much of the global outrage that we now see has only erupted with the recent reports about Bashar al Assad’s government attacking civilians with chemical weapons. Arguably, the past two long years of war has not provoked the same level of indignation as we are now seeing from world leaders and publics. Why is it only now, with the use of chemical weapons – and not the use of “conventional” bombs and guns – have the US and UK governments seriously debated intervening? The conflict has not necessarily taken a turn for the worse with the recent poison gas revelations. By some accounts 100,000 people have been killed in the conflict before the chemical weapons attack, which itself is reported to have killed about 1,400 people While indeed horrific, chemical weapons are not necessarily more deadly than “regular” bombs and guns.