A member of the Syrian Opposition Coalition (SOC), Yasser Dalwan, has remarked that the crime involving the Assad regime’s utilization of chemical weapons in eastern Ghouta a decade ago was bartered away in deals, emphasizing that the international community’s inaction bolstered the regime to perpetrate extensive war crimes against civilians over the past 12 years.
In an interview with the newspaper Ninar Press, Dalwan recollected the harrowing moments he shared with his family, acquaintances, and the populace in eastern Ghouta a decade back. He stated, “We lived through moments akin to Judgment Day when we awoke to grim tidings and a major tragedy early in the morning. It was my late nephew, journalist Ammar Al-Saeed, who roused me, insisting we head to the town of Zamalka. I questioned, ‘What has happened? Why the urgency?’ My late nephew replied, ‘The Assad regime has unleashed chemical gases on the town, and the toll is staggering. We must offer first aid and aid in rescue efforts.'”
Continuing, Dalwan recounted, “We reached the scene, and it was a catastrophe. Men, women, and children had all perished in a chilling silence—a state that eludes even the most articulate of descriptions. We extended assistance to whoever we could, and upon arriving at the makeshift hospital, we were confronted with an overwhelming number of wounded—an utterly distressing sight.”
Dalwan highlighted that the Syrian populace anticipated international intervention against the backdrop of former US President Barack Obama’s stated red lines for the regime. He expressed remorse that the aftermath witnessed no follow-through or accountability for the culprits of this heinous act. He lamented, “Regrettably, the chemical issue was bargained away, coinciding with the nuclear accord’s negotiation with Iran, contingent upon the regime’s purported relinquishing of its chemical arsenal.”
Dalwan emphasized that the regime’s evasion of accountability, the absence of punitive measures, and the failure to address the most horrible chemical massacre since World War II, emboldened the regime to carry out numerous chemical massacres thereafter.
He underlined that, despite the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons confirming the regime’s chemical weapons use over 17 instances, and American reports suggesting their employment in over 50 cases, the Assad regime remains unanswerable to date.
Dalwan called upon the UN Security Council and friendly nations to hold the perpetrator of these crimes—the criminal of the era—responsible. He urged the implementation of UN Resolution 2254 of 2015, which pertains to a political resolution through a transition of power, with the objective of reinstating Syria to its regional and international standing.
(Source: SOC’s Media Department)