New York, NY
September 16, 2013
The Syrian Coalition welcomes today’s release of the Report on the Alleged Use of Chemical Weapons in the Ghouta Area of Damascus, confirming that chemical weapons were used on 21 August 2013. The use of chemical weapons represents a grave violation of international law and it demands a swift international response.
Today’s report offers damning and irrefutable evidence of the chemical weapons attacks in eastern Ghouta, which left over 1,400 dead, including more than 400 innocent children. The report clearly shows that only the Syrian regime could have carried out these attacks. It used surface-to-surface rockets loaded with sarin gas to target opposition-held territory and indiscriminately kill innocent civilians.
In authorizing these attacks, the Syrian regime has committed the most devastating chemical weapons attack in the past 25 years. As the UN Secretary-General has noted, these attacks are a war crime, and they demand a unified and decisive response by the international community.
“The international community cannot, in good conscience, allow the Syrian regime to commit such atrocities with impunity. If the world does not act now, this war will continue, and thousands more will die”, said Dr. Najib Ghadbian, Special Representative of the Syrian Coalition to the United Nations. “The people of Syria look to the UN Security Council to do everything in its power to stop this conflict and hold the Syrian regime responsible for its criminal actions.”
The Syrian Coalition urges the Security Council to end the culture of impunity in Syria, and to stop the Syrian regime from carrying out further war crimes and crimes against humanity. The Syrian Coalition therefore reiterates its calls on the Security Council to refer Syria to the International Criminal Court and to employ all means within its power to stop the regime’s campaign of violence against its own people.
The UN Secretary-General has acknowledged that the “international community has a responsibility to hold the perpetrators accountable.” Only decisive action by the Security Council will show that international law cannot be violated without consequence.