On the occasion of the ninth anniversary of the Assad regime’s chemical attack on eastern Ghouta, the United States reaffirmed its commitment to holding the perpetrators accountable.
In statement issued on Sunday, the US State Department said: “Nine years ago, early in the morning of August 21, 2013, the Assad regime released the nerve agent sarin on Syrian civilians in the Ghouta district of Damascus, killing more than 1,400 people — many of them children.”
“Today, we recall with continuing horror this tragic event and we recommit ourselves to accountability for the perpetrators … We condemn in the strongest possible terms any use of chemical weapons anywhere, by anyone, under any circumstances,” the statement added.
The US State Department stressed that “the United States strongly supports international and Syrian-led efforts to seek justice for the innumerable atrocities committed against the people of Syria, some of which rise to the level of war crimes and crimes against humanity.”
“There can be no impunity for those who use chemical weapons; the United States uses all available tools to promote accountability for such attacks. We also reaffirm our support for an inclusive political resolution to the Syrian conflict in line with UN Security Council resolution 2254.”
Meanwhile, the Syrian Opposition Coalition (SOC) stressed that the “absence of international deterrence and accountability for this brutal massacre, and the confiscation of the crime weapon under UN Security Council Resolution 2118 instead of punishing the criminal, allowed the terrorist Assad regime to use barrel bombs, cluster bombs and dozens of lethal weapons over the previous years.”
In a press release issued on Sunday, the SOC said: “The international community has deepened the wounds of the Syrian people as it failed to hold the Assad regime accountable for violating UN Resolution 2118 and using chemical weapons dozens of times. The Independent International Commission of Inquiry confirmed the Assad regime’s responsibility for chemical attacks. The Commission also held the regime responsible for 32 war crimes that it carried out with the use of chemical weapons. This requires international action under Chapter VII of the UN Charter in accordance of Article 21 of UN Resolution 2118.”
The SOC renewed the calls “to hold the Assad regime accountable for its various crimes in order to serve justice for our people who are going through an unspeakable human tragedy because of the Assad regime.”
(Source: SOC’s Media Department)