Children began choking, gasping, writhing and foaming at the mouth. That's how witnesses describe the nerve gas attack on a rebel-held town in Syria's northern province of Idlib. It happened in the early morning hours before 7am, after warplanes rushed the town and began dropping chemical weapons. The attack killed more than 75 people, including children and rescue workers — and it is one of the worst attacks in Syria's gruesome civil war.
The war in Syria has been going on for six long, brutal years. This is not the first attack to kill children or aid workers. According to the United Nations, 4.81 million Syrians have been forced to flee their country because of the war. In Aleppo, another city in northern Syria, the government has bombed residential areas so frequently that children now collect shrapnel and other bomb fragments as toys. Schools have moved underground. Even hospitals have been flattened.
Despite the humanitarian catastrophe in Syria, Trump's administration continues to vilify refugees and block their access to safety, security, and a feeling of home in our country. Two months in a row, he has issued Executive Orders to target refugees and block their resettlement in the United States.
We must allow this latest attack to open our eyes. Refugees are human beings caught in the midst of violence, terror, and chaos — and no human deserves to live in such hell. We are the United States, a moral role model for the world. We cannot shut our eyes. We must open our arms and our doors and welcome in refugees — now. They have already suffered far too much. Let's bring them home to safety.
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Photo Credit: Mohamed Al-Bakour / AFP - Getty Images