Saturday, 31 August 2013 12:10

US Confirmation of Chemical Weapons Use Demands Robust and Comprehensive International Action

Media Statement
Syrian Coalition 
Washington, DC
Augusts 31, 2013

It is with heavy hearts that the Syrian Coalition listens to today’s release of US intelligence, which confirms the regime’s sad and deplorable use of chemical weapons against Syrians in eastern Ghouta on 21 August 2013. We understand that the international community will respond decisively to this heinous atrocity, and hope that such action will ensure that the people of Syria—and the world—are spared from future chemical weapons attacks by this regime.  We seek not war but the necessary conditions to pursue the long and challenging process of reconciliation,  reconstruction, and democratization. We hope that US-led action will be strategic and decisive enough to help us begin that necessary transition.

The evidence is clear and undeniable that the Syrian regime — and the Syrian regime alone — carried out large-scale, coordinated chemical weapons attacks on 21 August 2013 killing more than 1,400 people in the suburbs of Damascus.

The attacks in eastern Ghouta are a war crime and a crime against humanity. They constitute one of the most heinous violations of international law witnessed in the past 25 years. Such attacks must not be allowed to happen again.

“The world must respond decisively to the regime’s use of chemical weapons and neutralize the threat that the regime poses to its people and regional peace and security”, said President Jarba of the Syrian Coalition. “After 29 months of inaction, the international community has a moral obligation to stop the Syrian regime from its use of excessive and indiscriminate violence against the Syrian people”.

The US and its allies must demonstrate unequivocally that they will not tolerate a regime that continues to threaten its people and the stability of the region. Failure to do so will put not only Syrians, but all peoples, at risk.

The Syrian Coalition therefore urges the international community to undertake a comprehensive and robust military intervention that will significant reduce the capacity of the Syrian regime to inflict suffering on its own people and send a clear message that the use of chemical weapons will not be tolerated.  In doing so we urge that the international community keep in mind the objectives stated above and above all else the protection of Syrian civilians.

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