The Syrian Coalition called for holding the Assad regime to account after a report published on Wednesday by the United Nations concluded that the Assad regime has carried out two chemical attacks in Syria during 2014 and 2015.
The team from the UN and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said the Assad regime has used chlorine gas in two attacks in Idlib province in northwestern Syria.
In a statement released earlier on Thursday, the Syrian Coalition stressed that the latest UN report highlighted the importance of bringing to light massacres committed by the Assad regime against civilians in Syria using chemical weapons and other prohibited weapons.
The Syrian Coalition repeated its call for referring the chemical weapons dossier in Syria to the International Criminal Court (ICC) to determine those who ordered and carried out these attacks so as to make sure they are not repeated.
According to the UN and OPCW report, the Assad regime was found to be behind the attacks in the towns of Talmenes on April 21, 2014 and Sarmin on March 16, 2015 in violation of UN Security Council resolutions 2118 (2013) and 2209 (2015).
Although the two attacks took place during 2014 and 2015, multiple reports indicated that the Assad regime has repeatedly used chemical weapons, including sarin and chlorine, in many attacks across Syria since the revolution started in 2011. Over 1,500 civilians were killed and thousands more injured in these attacks.
“Letting criminals commit such horrible crimes with impunity is a dark stain on the international community and humanity as a whole. By letting perpetrators of such heinous crimes off the hook, the international community risks creating a world where war crimes are carried out and internationally banned weapons are used with criminals not ever having to worry about the consequences of their actions; it poses a real threat to international peace and security,” the Coalition said.
ISIS was responsible for a mustard gas attack on a town in northern Aleppo, the report also found. The report said ISIS “was the only entity with the ability, capability, motive and the means to use sulphur mustard” in an attack on the town of Marea in northern Aleppo on August 21, 2015.
The UN Security Council established a joint UN-OPCW investigative team a year ago to identify those responsible for chemical attacks in Syria. The team examined nine cases in seven towns where chemical weapons were believed to have been used. (Source: Syrian Coalition)