December 13, 2013
Today, the final report by the United Nations team exploring the use of chemical weapons in Syria was presented to the UN General Assembly.
For the past year, the Syrian Coalition has repeatedly pointed to the Assad regime’s recurring use of chemical weapons in numerous parts of Syria. Today’s report confirms that chemical weapons were used in these areas. These attacks are serious violations of international law that resulted in the numerous deaths of innocent civilians.
The world witnessed the gravity of such violations on 21 August, when the Assad regime launched a chemical weapons attack consisting of multiple surface-to-surface rockets at Eastern Ghouta that resulted in the deaths of over 1,400 civilians, including 400 children. These attacks were universally condemned and defined as a “war crime” by the UN Secretary-General.
Today’s report by the UN Fact-Finding Mission confirms that Sarin gas was used in these attacks against civilians in Eastern Ghouta. The report provides detailed, comprehensive and indisputable evidence that chemical weapons were used by Syrian armed forces, drawing upon information about munitions, as well as environmental samples and blood samples from survivors of the attacks.
The UN’s findings must strengthen the world’s resolve to hold the perpetrators of these and all chemical weapons attacks to account. In calling on the member states of the United Nations to respond to the release of the report, Syrian Coalition Special Representative to the UN, Dr. Najib Ghadbian stated, “Evidence has now repeatedly demonstrated that the Assad regime has used chemical weapons against the Syrian people. Immediate action is therefore needed by the UN Security Council to refer Syria to the ICC and ensure that the perpetrators of these attacks are brought to justice.”
“The international community must also act urgently to stop the Assad regime from using its conventional mass-scale weapons of war, which continue to inflict immense suffering on the Syrian people and enable the Assad regime to continue its sieges of population centres, thereby denying thousands of innocent civilians’ access to life-saving humanitarian aid.”