A rights group called for taking urgent action to hold the Assad regime accountable after reports by the UN and international human rights groups confirmed the regime was involved in the use of chemical weapons in different areas across Syria.
In a report released on Monday, the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) called for a preliminary prosecution of the users of chemical weapons in mandated regional tribunals.
“The Security Council has failed miserably to implement its resolutions, and the Syrian regime has successfully disregarded the CWC [the Chemical Weapons Convention] and all of the Security Council Resolutions,” the SNHR said.
The Network called on the European Union and the United States to support the neutral international Mechanism established under the UN General Assembly resolution 71/248, which was adopted on December 21, 2016 to establish regional tribunals that enjoy a universal jurisdiction.
According to the report, regime forces carried out 33 chemical attacks before the adoption of UNSC resolution 2118 on September 27, 2013, while 158 chemical attacks were carried out after the adoption of the resolution.
The chemical attacks were distributed in the Syrian provinces as follows: 41 in Idlib, 33 in Rural Damascus, 27 in Hama, 24 in Aleppo, 22 in Damascus, and 4 in each of Homs and Dara’a. The ISIS extremist group carried out 3 chemical attacks in Deir Ezzor province in the same period.
The report relied on testimonies of survivors and eyewitnesses, and especially on doctors who treated the injured as well as rescue workers.
The report stressed that the Assad regime forces have violated the international humanitarian law through the repeated and deliberate use of chemical weapons, which also constitutes a war crime.
“This crime, the use of chemical weapons which is one of the most serious crimes in this age, must be addressed.”
The report urged the UN Commission of Inquiry to immediately start investigating these reports and determine the party that is responsible for the use of this type of weapons.
“The UN Human Rights Council should shed more light on the Syrian regime’s breaches of Security Council resolutions 2118, 2209, and 2235 in order to apply a greater pressure on the Security Council to take more serious, deterring steps,” the Network added. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)