Thank you for joining us to say No to chemical attacks in Syria. Please join us in asking the UK Government and the United Nations to protect civilians in Syria from these attacks. Please join us to support Syrians as they struggle to survive against a regime determined to exterminate them.
On Wednesday, the Assad regime launched another sarin gas attack on April 4th on Khan Sheikhoun near Idlib, where more than 100 died and more than 400 were injured. A quarter of the victims were children. After the attack, the injured were rushed to the nearest hospital and that hospital was immediately targeted by another chemical attack, as reported by Idlib Medical Centre. It is now being investigated whether the hospital was targeted to destroy evidence of the attack.
This attack mirrors an earlier chemical massacre committed by the regime. More than three years ago, on August 21, 2013, the regime launched a chemical attack in the towns of Zamalka and Ein Tarma in East Ghouta and Moadamiya in West Ghouta, just on the outskirts of Damascus. Some 1,477 died and over 10,000 were injured when the regime launched rockets with 1,000 kg of the deadly nerve agent sarin.
Although the international community organised to collect his stockpile of chemical weapons after the 2013 attack, the regime has continued to use sarin and chlorine gas on civilians with no outcry from the international community and in violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention and UN Security Council Resolutions 2118 and 2209.
As a signatory to the Chemical Weapons Convention, Syria must abide by the rules it has signed up to. However, even before this attack, investigators showed that they had not complied. In October of last year, the UN and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons concluded that Assad had dropped chemical bombs 4 times between 2014 and 2015 – and these are only the incidents where there was evidence to verify this.
Many more Syrians have died under Assad by other means than by chemical weapons. We want the UK Government to engage with world leaders to bring pressure to bear on the Assad regime’s repeated violations of the international laws of war. Russia has vetoed Assad’s referral to the International Criminal Court 7 times. We demand that countries engage the UN General Assembly to overrule Russia on the Assad regime’s referral to the International Criminal Court.
What can you do to help? You can write to your MPs and other representatives to demand justice for Syrians. You can talk to your friends and family members about the atrocities in Syria. You can donate to charities that provide medical assistance to victims in Syria and to rescuers like the White Helmets who are the first on the scene in any such attack. Your voice can speak on behalf of the voiceless in Syria who have been ignored by the international community for the past 7 years.