World Bulletin / News Desk
A prominent Saudi scholar has decried muted Arab reactions to this week's suspected chemical attack in Syria's northern Idlib province.
Dozens of civilians were killed and hundreds injured in a chemical attack allegedly carried out by regime forces in the northern town of Khan Shaykhun on Tuesday. In response, the U.S. early Friday fired 59 Tomahawk missiles at a Syrian regime military airbase American officials believe was used to carry out the attack.
"The UN and Arab community stood idly by. They did nothing but condemned the massacre," Salman Al-Awdah told Anadolu Agency.
"While Arab people took to social media to denounce the massacre, politicians and prominent figures of society remained silent," he said.
The Saudi scholar went on to call for taking a "deterrent response" against those responsible for the chemical attack on civilians in Khan Shaykhun.
"He who remains silent in the face of injustice is a tongueless devil," he said, going on to call on Arab politicians, writers and thinkers to "make everyone aware of this massacre, which is supported by Iran and Russia".
"Keeping silent to the massacre in Idlib is equal to being part of it," he said.
Lebanese MP Imad al-Hut said the Arab people were angry with the recent massacre in Idlib.
"Their reaction, however, was muted due to the ongoing bloodshed in Syria, which has caused to harden their hearts," he said.
Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011, when the Bashar al-Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests -- which erupted as part of the Arab Spring uprisings -- with unexpected ferocity.
Since then, more than a quarter-million people have been killed and more than 10 million displaced across the war-battered country, according to the UN.
The Syrian Center for Policy Research, however, put the death toll from the six-year conflict at more than 470,000 people.
Ali al-Emin, a journalist, blamed foreign powers for escalating the conflict in Syria.
"The Arab silence seems to encourage Assad and his allies to commit horrific crimes against civilians," he told Anadolu Agency.
"The Khan Shaykhun massacre is only part of the carnages that the Assad regime continues to carry out," he said.
Al-Emin said that condemnations are no longer sufficient to stop massacres in war-torn Syria.
"The Arab world needs a force that can stop such attacks in Syria and the Arab region," he said. "Without such force and unity, these massacres will continue to happen."
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