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Today’s chemical attack in Syria probably won’t be the last

Dozens of people were killed by a chemical attack in Syria attributed to Bashar al-Assad’s regime, the New York Times reports. Symptoms suggest the chemicals included banned nerve agents, though attacks with other toxic chemicals like chlorine have been fairly frequent in the long-running Syrian civil war.

While the Trump administration quickly condemned the attack, there’s little sign the United States can or will do much to prevent more such incidents. Just last week, the administration said it wants to prioritize the fight with ISIS over ousting Assad. Meanwhile, international efforts to curb the regime’s use of chemical weapons haven’t been effective, and despite the U.N. Security Council ordering Syria to destroy its chemical weapons stockpile in 2013, an OPCW-UN report last year determined that Syria engaged in chlorine gas attacks at least three times in 2014 and 2015. SM