On Findings of OPCW’s Investigation into Chemical Attacks in Hama Province
Syrian Opposition Coalition - Syria
Department of Media and Communications
April 08, 2020
The Syrian Opposition Coalition (SOC) welcomes the findings of the first report by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons’ (OPCW) Investigation and Identification Team (IIT). Based on the findings of the report, the SOC calls for international action in accordance with Chapter VII of the UN Charter and in line with UN Security Council Resolution 2118.
The report confirmed what we all have been already aware of with regard to the Assad regime’s intentional, repeated use of chemical weapons against civilians. It concluded that the Assad regime is responsible for three chemical attacks, two of which involved the use of sarin, targeting the town of Latamina in northern rural Hama in late March of 2017.
The UN investigation team released its findings after a nine-month investigation that included a comprehensive review of the information obtained including: interviews with persons who were present in the relevant places at the time of attacks, analysis of samples collected at the sites of attacks, review of the symptomatology, examination of imagery, including satellite images, and extensive consultation of experts.
Following the issuance of this report and its findings, members of the UN Security Council who are keen on preserving international security and stability are required, along with international actors, to take the necessary measures to hold the perpetrators accountable and prevent a repeat of such crimes.
The SOC has repeatedly affirmed the international community’s responsibility for punishing those responsible for the use of chemical weapons in Syria. It has already warned of the wrong messages that the continuing international inaction is sending to the regime and to the rest of the authoritarian regimes around the world. Indeed, this inaction constitutes a serious threat to international peace and security, the international law, and OPCW’s credibility and future.
The international position from now on should be different and more aware of the need to take concrete measures against the Assad regime under Chapter VII and in line with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions.