Int’l Calls to Punish Assad Ahead of UNSC Meeting to Discuss Douma Chemical Attack
The UN Security Council is set to hold an emergency meeting on Monday to discuss the chemical attack on the town of Douma in eastern Ghouta. The Syrian Coalition earlier called for punishing the Assad regime for its repeated use of chemical and other internationally banned weapons as well as for the urgent referral of Syria to the International Criminal Court.
Nine countries, including the United Sates, called for holding the emergency meeting. US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said that the use of chemical weapons to injure and kill innocent civilians has become "all too common" in Syria.
"The Security Council has to come together and demand immediate access for first responders, support an independent investigation into what happened and hold accountable those responsible for this atrocious act,” said Haley.
At least 78 civilians were killed and hundreds more were injured as a result of a new chemical attack on the town of Douma in Saturday, according to the Syrian Civil Defense Corps.
President of the Syrian Coalition, Abdelrahman Mustafa held the international community responsible for the crime in light of its failure to take deterrent measures against the Assad regime in response to its continued violations of UN Security Council resolutions, most notably resolution 2118 on the use of chemical weapons.
Mustafa said that this inaction “has encouraged the Assad regime to commit the crime in Douma."
Former US presidential candidate, Republican Senator John McCain, on Sunday said that Assad and his Russian and Iranian backers were emboldened by American inaction, calling on Prurient Trump to respond firmly to the chemical attack on Douma.
Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said in a statement Sunday that “the repeated and morally reprehensible use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime…is part of a deliberate strategy to terrorize local populations and force them into submission.”