As global tensions continue over the chemical attacks in Syria last month, Syrian officials have vowed that they will respond if attacked—even warning of World War 3. U.S. lawmakers have been debating what to do about those chemical attacks, which killed more than a thousand Syrian civilians. Chemical weapons were banned globally a century ago, and the Syrian regime’s use of them has awakened debate about whether a response from the rest of the world is required.

world war 3

World War 3 suggested last year in Syria

You may remember that over a year ago, World War 3 was also suggested by Syrian officials. At that time though, Syrian Foreign Ministry spokesman Jihad Makdissi reportedly said that they would never use chemical weapons inside Syria during the crisis there, no matter what the developments were. He emphasized that the nation’s chemical weapons would only be used if “Syria is exposed to external aggression.”

What a difference a year makes, as now the Assad regime is suspected of using chemical weapons on its home soil.

Syria won’t give in to U.S. threats

Today the Arab publication Al Arabiya reports that the Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister made mention of World War 3 again. He said they would counter any kind of intervention that is aimed at pushing President Bashar al-Assad’s regime for the suspected use of chemical weapons in his country. He said they were busy mobilizing their allies.

“The Syrian government will not change position even if there is World War III,” he told AFP. “No Syrian can sacrifice the independence of his country. Syria has taken every measure to retaliate against…an aggression.”

Will the U.S. respond to Syria?

Meanwhile U.S. President Obama has challenged lawmakers to approve his plans to strike Syria, suggesting that they would put the nation’s international prestige and credibility at risk. The president insists that the world can’t remain silent in the wake of the chemical attacks. He hopes to garner the support of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has not yet ruled out Russian backing for a military strike against Syria. However, he has also said that such a strike would be illegal if the United Nations does not support it.