Syrian Opposition Coalition
Department of Media and Communications
December 3, 2021
The Syrian Opposition Coalition (SOC) welcomes the US renewal of its commitment to holding war criminals in Syria accountable. It fully supports the calls recently made by the US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield who called for the establishment of a special tribunal to prosecute perpetrators of human rights violations, crimes against humanity, and war crimes in Syria.
The US administration can press on with these calls and secure the necessary international mandate to implement UN resolutions. The legal cover required for international action is already available under UN Resolution 2118 and reports by the international investigation commissions. These reports have already confirmed the Assad regime’s responsibility for violating UN resolution 2118 through its use of chemical weapons against civilians, which requires activating Chapter VII of the UN Charter.
The Assad regime has committed the most horrific war crimes over the past ten years, including the killing of a million Syrians, the displacement of half of Syria’s population, the destruction of the country’s infrastructure, and the use of internationally prohibited weapons. These atrocities require a decisive international mechanism for holding those responsible to account, which can only be achieved through the serious implementation of UN resolutions.
The SOC reiterates that crimes of this magnitude cannot be dealt with by negotiating with the criminals and waiting for their compliance. Rather, concrete action is required to ensure that criminals do not escape punishment and to establish the rule of law.