Rights Group: Int’l Silence About Assad Crimes Encourages others to Use CW
The Syrian Network for Human Rights on Wednesday issued a special report to mark the sixth anniversary of the notorious chemical attack the Assad regime launched in the Damascus suburb of eastern Ghouta on August 21, 2013. The Network warned the international community that its silence about the Assad regime’s repeated use of chemical weapons risk encouraging other regimes to use this internationally prohibited weapon.
The report indicated that the Assad regime is the only regime that used chemical weapons against its own people and repeated its use in blatant defiance of the international community. It pointed out that this crime risk encouraging other regimes with brutal, barbaric mentality to use these weapons.
The Network said that the Syrian people expected that the international community would completely isolate the Assad regime as this crime, under the international law, constituted a threat to international peace and security.
The response of the international community, which forced the regime to surrender the weapon it used in the crime while leaving the criminal at large, has encouraged the regime not to surrender the entirety of its cache of chemical weapons. It also encouraged the regime to use this weapon many times with the support of states that do not show any respect for human rights, such as Iran and Russia.
The monitoring group stressed that the Ghouta chemical attack was not the first of its kind, but it was the biggest in terms of the casualties it caused and the geographical area it affected. It noted that the attack killed at least 1,127 people, including 107 children and 201 women as well as injured about 5,935 people.
The SNHR pointed out that the Assad regime used chemical weapons in 156 attacks following the Ghouta Massacre as of December 12, 2016, the date of the chemical attack on the Aqiribat region in eastern rural Hama. It also used these weapons in 13 attacks as of April 4, 2017, the date of the sarin attack on the town of Khan Sheikhoun in rural Idlib. It also used chemical weapons in 14 attacks as of April 7, 2018, the date of the chlorine attack on the town of Douma in Rural Damascus, and one time as of May, 19 2019, the date of the chlorine attack on the town of Kabbina in eastern rural Lattakia.
The Network called on the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to identify those responsible for the May 19 attack on Kabbinah and the rest of the chemical attacks.
The Network called on the UN Security Council and the international community to assume their responsibilities and abstain from establishing any relations with a regime that uses weapons of mass destruction against civilians in our modern era and right under the eyes of the whole world. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)