United Nations accuses Syrian government in using chemical weapons in April
07 September, 2017, 01:42 | Author: Andrea Terry
The latest report by the Commission of Inquiry on Syria offers among the strongest evidence yet of allegations that Assad's forces conducted the April 4 attack on Khan Sheikhoun in rebel-held Idlib province in which dozens of people were killed.
In the most conclusive findings to date from investigations into chemical weapons attacks during the conflict, the UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria said a regime warplane dropped sarin on Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib province in April, killing more than 80 civilians and injuring nearly 300.
Twenty seven were by forces of the government of President Bashar al-Assad, including seven between 1 March to 7 July. Investigators have so far been able to pinpoint who was responsible for the six remaining attacks which all occurred earlier in the conflict.
Meanwhile, the Assad government has consistently denied using any form of chemical weapons.
The commission also said the United States violated worldwide law by failing to protect civilians when they carried out an airstrike on a mosque in al-Jinah, Syria.
Noting concerns about the impact of worldwide coalition air strikes on civilians, the report highlighted US operations which hit civilians.
The commission said the Khan Sheikhoun chemical attack killed at least 83 people and wounded 293.
The Syrian regime has continued to use sarin and chlorine gas to deadly effect throughout the war despite former U.S. president Barack Obama describing their use as a "red line" in 2012, intimating the likely use of military action.
"The parties to this horrific conflict must fundamentally realign their tactics with basic notions of humanity, and the worldwide community must reinvigorate its commitment to meaningful justice and accountability for all perpetrators of crimes, if we are to see a significant shift away from Machiavellian disregard for the interests of the Syrian people and the progress towards alleviating the suffering of civilians", said Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro, Chair of the Commission.
United Nations war crimes investigators said on Wednesday that Syrian government forces used chemical weapons at least two dozen times, killing scores of civilians, including children, during the course of the country's five-and-a-half year civil war.
Speaking in Geneva, the chair of the commission Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, said most incidents which civilians are killed and maimed involve the unlawful use of conventional weapons, such as cluster munitions and explosive weapons in civilian populated areas.
September 14, 2013: The United States and Russian Federation reach a deal to eliminate Syria's chemical weapons by the middle of 2014, averting punitive U.S. strikes against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. A number of local truces, including the so called "Four Towns Agreement", incorporated evacuation agreements which resulted in the forced displacement of civilians, a war crime.
The Obama administration "guaranteed" in 2013 that "100%" of Syria's chemical weapons were removed by Russian Federation.
- Investigators believe chemical weapons including Sarin were used around 27 times. The report is based on information retrieved from satellite images, video, photos, medical records, and over 300 interviews.
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