10-Year Commemoration: Ghouta Attack Remembered – Ministry Press Release

August 21, 2023 marks ten years since the atrocious sarin gas attack carried out in the Ghouta district of Damascus by Bashar al-Assad’s regime against its own population, killing more than 1,400 people, including many children.

On this day of commemoration, France pays tribute to the memory of the victims of this heinous crime. For more than twelve years now, the Syrian regime has regularly committed, with the support of its allies, atrocities that constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity.

France is committed to ensuring that these crimes committed in Syria do not go unpunished. It is a matter of conscience, out of consideration for the countless victims of this violence. And it is also a question of respect for international law, justice and responsibility, so that Syria can rebuild itself socially and politically.

In particular, the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime, documented and irrefutable, is unacceptable. We condemn in the strongest terms the Syrian regime’s repeated use of these horrific weapons and reiterate our demand that the Syrian regime immediately comply with its obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions. Syria must fully declare and destroy its chemical weapons program and allow the deployment of OPCW personnel to its country to verify that it has done so.

France is determined to do what is necessary to ensure that those responsible for the use of these weapons are punished. To this end, it notably launched in Paris in 2018 the International Partnership Against Impunity for the Use of Chemical Weapons, which today brings together 40 States and the European Union, and continues with its partners to sanction Syrian officials. directly or indirectly responsible for these atrocities.

France is also fully mobilized to ensure that an appropriate response is provided to these actions. It is in this spirit that on 21 April 2021, on behalf of 46 States Parties, it carried the decision “Countering the possession and use of chemical weapons by the Syrian Arab Republic”, adopted by a very large majority by the 25th Conference of States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), sanctioning the behavior of the Syrian regime at the OPCW.

In Syria, as everywhere else, France will never stop seeking justice for the victims of these heinous attacks.

This article is originally published on diplomatie.gouv.fr

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