April 4, 2017
Warplanes of the Assad regime at dawn on Tuesday hit the town of Khan Sheikhoun in southern rural Idlib with bombs loaded with poisonous gases causing symptoms similar to those caused by the sarin nerve agent. Around 70 people have so far been killed and 200 more injured. Early photos and videos of the aftermath of the attack clearly show a horrible crime similar to the one the Assad regime committed in eastern Ghouta near Damascus in the summer of 2013, which the international community allowed to go unpunished.
The Assad regime’s air force also carried out a massacre against civilians in the town of Douma in eastern Ghouta on Monday claiming the lives of at least 32 people, including women and children.
The Assad regime continues to use internationally prohibited weapons in bombing civilian areas in a blatant violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention and UN Security Council resolutions 2118, 2209, 2235 and 2254. These crimes would not have happened again had it not been for the lukewarm response by the international community and its failure to ensure protection for civilians.
In light of this appalling crime, the Syrian Coalition calls for the implementation of Article 21 of UN Security Council resolution 2118, which says the Council would take measures under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter in case of noncompliance, including the transfer and use of chemical weapons.
It is incumbent upon the UN Security Council to hold an emergency session to address this crime and conduct an immediate investigation into it. Urgent measures need to be taken to ensure that those who ordered, executed, supported and are involved in the attack are held accountable under Chapter VII of the UN Charter.
The failure to take concrete, urgent action would be understood by the Assad regime as a blessing for its actions. Inaction is no more an option as it amounts to direct involvement and even direct responsibility for those crimes.
My our wounded recover, our detainees be free, and our fallen heroes rest in peace.
Long live Syria and the Syrian people, free and with honor.