Toxic Gases in Syria: Unlimited Security Council Breaches

125 Breaches of UNSC Resolution 2118, including 56 Breaches of Resolution 2209

Toxic Gases in Syria

I- Introduction and Methodology:
On 21 August 2013, the Syrian government committed a massacre in Al Ghouta, in Damascus suburbs. The UN Security council issued resolution 2218 that condemned the killing of civilians that resulted from the chemical attack, affirmed that the use of chemical weapons constitutes a serious violation of the international law, and stressed that those responsible for any use of chemical weapons must be held accountable. Later, resolution 2235 was issued and condemned in the strongest terms any use of chlorine as a weapon in Syria. With the advent of the second anniversary of the chemical massacre in Syria, SNHR issues its periodic report about the government’s use of toxic gases against Syrian people.
In this report, we focus primarily on the use of toxic gases by government forces before and after resolution 2118 was issued.

The Independent International Commission of Inquiry report stated that there are reasonable grounds to believe that chemical agents, probably Chlorine gas, had been used in Kafr Zeta, Al Tamania’a and Talamnis towns in eight incidents within 10 days in April. Also, according to the commission’s report, there are reasonable grounds to believe that those chemical agents were dropped in barrel bombs from government helicopters flying overhead” . Therefore, the commission identified the party responsible for these attacks. Further, in September 2014 the Fact Finding Mission that was assigned by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons stated that there are “compelling confirmation” that a toxic chemical, i.e. Chlorine gas, was used three time “systematically and repeatedly” as a weapon in villages in northern Syria , however, the FFM did not identify the party responsible for the chemical attack.

As an independent national human rights group, we in SNHR, affirm that we recorded 125 breaches of UNSC resolution 2118, including 56 breaches of resolution 2209 by government forces. It is worth mentioning that UNSC resolution 2118 states that “in the event of non-compliance with this resolution, measures shall be imposed under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter. ” Despite this, the Syrian government did not comply with this resolution and continued to violate the rights of the Syrian people and was not held accountable or responsible.

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