Canada Urges Accountability for War Crimes in Syria

Canada announced it would continue “to rally the international community to hold perpetrators of war crimes in Syria to account,” stressing that “the use of chemical weapons by any actor is a breach of international law.”

In a statement released on Saturday, Chrystia Freeland, Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs said: “‘‘Canada welcomes the impartial report issued by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism. We are deeply concerned by this report’s findings, which demonstrate that the Assad regime and Daesh [ISIS] are responsible for killing scores of people using chemical weapons in Syria.”

‘‘This is evidence pointing to the use of sarin gas by the Assad regime in the April 4, 2017, attack in southern Idlib province that killed dozens of civilians, including children─and confirmation that Daesh used sulphur mustard in an attack in Umm Hawsh in September 2016,” Freeland added.

Freeland went on: “The use of chemical weapons by any actor is a breach of international law, continued impunity is unacceptable, and the perpetrators must be held to account.”

The Canadian top diplomat also said that ‘‘we are deeply disappointed by Russia’s decision to veto renewal of the Joint Investigative Mechanism at the UN Security Council earlier this week─the ninth veto it has cast to shield the Assad regime.”

In a press release issued on Wednesday, the Coalition strongly condemned Russia’s use of its veto power on the UN Security Council. “It is the ninth time Russia has used its veto power at the UN Security Council to hinder international action on Syria in an attempt to shield perpetrators from answering for their actions.”

The Coalition warned that the Russian position risks opening the door to a world in which war criminals commit crimes without any fear of the consequences.” (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department + Al-Hayat Newspaper + Agencies)