Syrian Opposition Coalition
Department of Media and Communications
November 30, 2021
Independent international investigation committees have long condemned the Assad regime for the use of chemical weapons against innocent civilians. The murderous Assad regime used chemical weapons in at least 217 occasions to suppress the Syrian people demanding freedom and democracy. These attacks claimed the lives of thousands of people, among them many children and women. Some of these attacks will remain milestones in the history of Syria, especially the sarin attack on eastern Ghouta in 2013, in which about 1,500 civilians were killed.
Paying tribute to the victims of chemical warfare must consist in taking a firm international stance and concrete action that ensures accountability for the perpetrators and criminals of the Assad regime who are responsible for the deaths of thousands of victims with chemical weapons.
The Syrian Opposition Coalition (SOC) stresses the need to hold accountable the Assad regime’s criminals who used chemical weapons against the Syrian people in line with UN Security Council Resolution 2118, which the Assad regime has violated many times. The resolution threatens measures under Chapter VII of the UN Charter should it was breached.
The Syrian people are the most relatable to the day dedicated to commemorating victims of chemical warfare. According to the United Nations, chemical weapons were not used even in the fiercest stages of World War II in Europe. The Assad regime is responsible for using these weapons systematically and on multiple occasions in full view of the whole world. Conclusive evidence on these attacks was provided by investigations conducted by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria.
The international position on the repeated and documented use of chemical weapons, the red lines drawn in the sand, and the persistent state of impunity all cast a serious doubt about the entire Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. This also opens the door to a danger that threatens all of humanity after chemical weapons were once again put to use without any consequences.
Respecting the rights of victims of chemical weapons, supporting them and working to mitigate the harm caused to them by terrorist regimes and organizations requires, in the first place, establishing a fair international legal mechanism for holding the criminals accountable and preventing the shielding of the perpetrators with any political or diplomatic cover.