The State of Qatar renewed Wednesday its calls on the international community to bring war criminals in Syria to international justice after an independent UN investigation proved that the Assad regime used sarin in the Khan Sheikhoun massacre last April.
In a statement released on Wednesday, the Qatari Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that “leaving the perpetrators unpunished for their crimes will contribute to increasing the violence and violations against the Syrian people.”
The statement stressed the importance of reaching a political resolution in Syria in line with the Geneva Communique of 2012 and the relevant UN Security Council resolutions in order to realize the demands of the Syrian people.
UN war crimes investigators said they have evidence that the Assad regime forces were behind the April 4 chemical attack on the town of Khan Sheikhoun in rural Idlib.
The UN Commission of Inquiry (COI) on Syria said on Wednesday it had gathered an “extensive body of information” showing that the Syrian air force was responsible for the sarin gas attack in Khan Sheikhoun.
“As part of an aerial campaign in northern Hama and southern Idlib, on 4 April the Syrian air force used sarin in Khan Shaykhun, killing over 80 people, most of whom were women and children,” the Commission added.
“All evidence available leads the Commission to conclude that there are reasonable grounds to believe Syrian forces dropped an aerial bomb dispersing sarin in Khan Sheikhoun,” the report said.
The UN investigators, who have never been granted access to Syria, said they had based their findings on photographs of bomb remnants, satellite imagery and witness testimony.
The report is the 14th from the COI, which has been tasked with detailing atrocities in the Syrian conflict in which over half a million people have been killed since 2011, mostly by the Assad regime forces and their allies.
Wednesday’s report is the first from the United Nations to officially lay blame for the Khan Sheikhoun attack on the Assad regime. The report also found that the Assad regime was responsible for at least 23 other chemical attacks in Syria since March 2013.
In its first response to the report, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said Wednesday that “so far those responsible for chemical attacks in Syria have faced no real consequences.”
“As evidence of Syrian responsibility for chemical attacks mounts, both the UN Security Council and the OPCW should increase pressure on the Syrian government, and do more to bring those responsible to justice,” said Ole Solvang, deputy emergencies director at HRW. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department + Agencies)