April 4, 2017
At 6:30 AM on Tuesday April 4, 2017, a chemical weapons attack was carried out by Syrian military aircraft over the town of Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib province, northern Syria. The deadly attack led to the death of roughly 100 civilians as well as the injury of nearly 300 others, mostly children. The cause of injury and death was the inhalation of poison gas, according to the testimony of medical staff and human rights organizations working to document the cases.
The Syrian Civil Society Platform condemns this abhorrent massacre against civilians, and considers it a war crime. In addition, it considers the Syrian regime responsible for this heinous action. The attack is a clear violation of the fifth item of UN Security Council Resolution 2118 (2013) which emphasizes that no Party in Syria shall use, develop, produce, possess, stockpile, retain or transfer chemical weapons. This is in addition to Resolution 2209 (2015), which condemned
The Syrian Civil Society Platform considers this crime an arrogant challenge to the international community and to the world’s conscience. It calls for an urgent UN Security Council meeting to be held over the chemical attack in Khan Sheikhoun. Furthermore, the Syrian Civil Society Platform calls upon the Security Council to abide by its previous resolutions on the use of chemical weapons in Syria, and not to subject this heinous action to political haggling between nations. At last, it recommends the following:
- Open an inquiry into the
Syria attack and issue an urgent report documenting the details of the crime.
- Refer the accused to the International Criminal Court.
- Take urgent measures that will protect civilians and reduce the likelihood of their being targeted by the Syrian Air Force and artillery.
- Exert pressure on the Syrian regime and its allies to consider medical facilities as neutral and refrain from hitting them with aerial bombardment and artillery.
- Provide medical facilities with the necessary equipment to deal with cases arising from bombing with toxic gases.
We emphasize the need to push seriously towards a comprehensive political solution that guarantees political transition of power, ends the suffering of the Syrian people and realizes their aspirations.