Statement by the Syrian Women’s Political Movement in the Anniversary of the Chemical Attack on Khan Sheikhoun

A year has passed since the attack waged by the Assad regime against civilians in Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib with chemical weapons, in a stark violation of human rights, international laws and UN resolutions. The attack claimed around a hundred lives, more than a quarter of whom were children. This attack was another crime added to the list of crimes the regime continue to perpetrate, which amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity before the eyes and ears of the entire world, without any kind of accountability and without taking any effective measures to stop such crimes.

The chemical attack in Khan Sheikhoun was one of over two hundred documented chemical attacks by the regime against the Syrian people; more than ten attacks were waged over the past year. Several reports have been issued by the Independent International Commission of inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic, proving the involvement of the regime in practices that amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity. One of these reports, a report published on August 8, 2017, in which the Commission considered that “there are reasonable grounds to believe that the Syrian forces attacked Khan Sheikoun with a sarin bomb … in the morning of 4 April, constituting [a] war crime … The use of sarin by Syrian forces also violates the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction and Security Council resolution 2118 (2013)”. However, the international community has not taken any measures or actions to stop the regime’s practices and crimes.

Today we, in SWPM, renew our demand for the implementation and enforcement of all international resolutions relevant to Syria, including ones related to the accountability of perpetrators, including article 21 of Security Council resolution 2118 in particular, which states that “in the event of non-compliance with this resolution, including unauthorized transfer of chemical weapons, or any use of chemical weapons by anyone in the Syrian Arab Republic, to impose measures under chapter VII of the United Nations Charter“.

We call upon the international community to break its silence and carelessness towards our people’s tragedy, and to put pressure to end those horrific massacres that have been committed against the Syrian people for seven years, and to stop this war whose victims are mostly civilians who have been subjected to all kinds of crimes, including arbitrary detention, torture, forced displacement, bombardment and killing with all types of conventional and internationally banned weapons.

Our objective has always been for Syria to be a state where all Syrians enjoy freedom and democracy, in a state established on the bases of justice, law and equal citizenship. However, this cannot be achieved so long as criminals and perpetrators of war crimes continue to kill and displace Syrians with impunity.

May martyrs rest in peace, detainees and the disappeared persons be free and our great people emerge victorious

General Secretariat of the Syrian Women’s Political Movement

April 5, 2018