Department of Media and Communications
April 8, 2019
A year has passed since the chemical attack that targeted the town of Douma during the barbaric bombing campaign that resulted in the killing and displacement of thousands of civilians from the Damascus suburb of eastern Ghouta.
The chemical attack and bombing campaign followed a years-long crippling siege the Assad regime laid on eastern Ghouta and the brutal attacks it waged against its civilians over these years.
On April 7, 2018, two Assad regime helicopters dropped barrel bombs filled with chlorine gas on the town of Douma in violation of UN Security Council Resolutions 2118, 2209, 2235 and 2401. The attack resulted in the deaths and injury of hundreds of civilians.
The silence about these crimes and the use of chemical weapons has encouraged the regime to commit further crimes and escalate its attacks on civilians. Russia continues to block any effort to ensure accountability and has been avidly seeking to sabotage all opportunities for solution through diplomatic and political ways. Added to this is the direct military intervention through aerial and land bombardment as well as its support for the Assad regime forces and the Iranian militias. Moreover, Russia has keenly sought a military solution to the situation in Syria.
The appropriate, effective response to the Assad regime’s crimes and the situation that Russia seeks to consolidate requires the urgent implementation of the UN Security Council resolutions. They also require international action to ensure that the Assad regime, Iran and Russia respect these resolutions; engage in the political process; and start the process of political transition in accordance with the Geneva Communique of 2012 UN Security Council resolutions 2118 and 2254 under the auspices of the United Nations.
The Syrian Coalition holds the Assad regime and its allies responsible for these chemical attacks, murders and displacement as it stresses the responsibility of the international community for bringing the criminals to justice. We call for a common position to bring war criminals from the regime officials to justice before the ICC.
The Coalition also stresses the need to reactivate the Joint International Investigation Commission, refer the war crimes in Syria to the International Criminal Court, and to impose the most severe sanctions against anyone whose hands are stained with the blood of the Syrian people.