Syrian Opposition Coalition – Syria
Department of Media and Communications
December 12, 2020
The Syrian Opposition Coalition (SOC) welcomes demands by five members of the UN Security Council, namely Britain, Germany, Belgium, Estonia, and France, in addition to Ireland and Norway, for determining those responsible for the use of chemical weapons in Syria. The SOC has sought this step since the sarin attack that the Assad regime committed near Damascus in August 2013.
These demands coincided with the fourth anniversary of the Assad regime’s chemical weapons attack on eastern rural Hama on December 12, 2016 claiming the lives of 70 civilians, including 35 children and 14 women, and injuring 100 others.
Addressing this issue must take into account the findings of the investigation committee of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. In a report issued in April of this year, the Organization indicated that the Assad regime forces used chemical weapons against civilians on several occasions, and that the Assad regime’s high military leadership was responsible for giving orders for the use of chemical weapons. It identified three attacks, two of which involved the use of sarin nerve agent, that targeted the town of Lataminah in northern rural Hama in March 2017.
It is imperative that major actors set a timetable for these legal arrangements in order to facilitate them and prevent the perpetrators from committing more crimes and violations.
It is also imperative to refer the issue of the use of chemical weapons to the International Criminal Court and hold the perpetrators accountable for these crimes as well as for all other war crimes, violations and crimes against humanity that have been taking place in Syria since 2011.
The SOC will spare no effort to ensure that this issue is followed up as it will continue to press all international actors to shoulder their responsibilities in this regard.