Diplomats from 29 countries including US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson meet in Paris on Tuesday pushing for sanctions and criminal charges against perpetrators of chemical attacks in Syria. Assad regime forces on Monday carried out chlorine gas attack on the district of Douma east of the Capital Damascus.
The countries meeting in Paris will launch a new initiative targeting perpetrators of chemical attacks through the endorsement of “a series of commitments aimed at strengthening their cooperation in the fight against impunity for those who use or develop chemical weapons.”
The commitment will include “collecting, compiling, and facilitating the sharing of information so that the perpetrators of chemical attacks can be held accountable for their actions.”
At Tuesday’s meeting, countries will commit to compiling a list of individuals implicated in the use of chemical weapons in Syria and beyond. These could then be hit with sanctions such as asset freezes and entry bans as well as criminal proceedings at the national level.
The Syrian Civil Defense Corps said that Assad regime forces used chlorine gas in an attack on the Damascus suburb of eastern of Ghouta on Monday, adding that at least 13 people in the district of Duma suffered from asphyxiation as a result of the attack.
The Directorate of Health in eastern Ghouta said that the symptoms shown by the victims indicated exposure to chlorine gas, adding that the victims said that the smell at the site of the attack was similar to the smell of chlorine.
The Civil Defense called upon the international community to take urgent action to protect civilians and put an end to violent attacks on the besieged eastern Ghouta.
The Civil Defense urged civic, legal local and international institutions to intervene to protect civilians in eastern Ghouta and to exert pressure on active players to stop military attacks on civilians, ensure the delivery of humanitarian aid to the area, and ensure that medical evacuations are carried out. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department + Agencies)