The Syrian Opposition Coalition (SOC) said that the remarks made by the High Representative for Disarmament Affairs (ODA), Izumi Nakamitsu, before the UN Security Council about the declaration that the Assad regime had submitted on its chemical weapons status should be the subject of attention and follow-up by international parties.
In a press release issued on Thursday, the SOC said that “the briefing confirms, once again, that the Assad regime, despite the passage of seven years, has not abided by the terms of the ignominious deal that saw its chemical weapons be exchanged for the lives of the victims of the sarin attack on the Damascus suburb of eastern Ghouta in 2013.”
“The declaration that the Assad regime submitted to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) cannot be trusted whatsoever. Nakamitsu emphasized that 19 issues remain outstanding, which effectively means that the Assad regime continues to lie to the international community in order to keep its stockpile of chemical weapons by any means,” the SOC added.
The SOC recalled the demands submitted by a group of UN Security Council member states last month urging resumption of procedures related to the use of chemical weapons in Syria.
It also drew attention to the findings of the investigators of the OPCW which issued its report in April of last year, indicating that the Assad regime forces deliberately used chemical weapons against civilians on many occasions. The report identified three chemical weapons attacks, two of which involved the use of sarin in the town of Al-Lataminah in northern rural Hama in March 2017.
The SOC underscored that the issue of crimes cannot be resolved through negotiations with the perpetrators, but be referred to the International Criminal Court and ensure that perpetrators are held to account for the crimes of using chemical weapons and other war crimes, violations and crimes against humanity that have taken place in Syria since 2011.
The SOC also reaffirmed the need to set a timetable for these legal arrangements by the major actors so as to deter criminals from committing more crimes and violations, and prevent further condoning of the use of chemical weapons and the commission of massacres, war crimes and crimes against humanity. (Source: SOC’s Media Department)