The SNHR, As One of the Report’s Sources, Calls for Urgently Imposing the Most Severe Penalties against the Users of Weapons of Mass Destruction
BY: Szilas/Wikimedia Common
Paris – Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR):
Yesterday, Monday, April 12, 2021, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons’ (OPCW) Investigation and Identification Team (IIT), whose mission is to identify the perpetrators of the crime of using chemical weapons, issued its second report; this report was the result of the IIT’s investigation into the chemical weapons attack on Saraqeb city on February 4, 2018, with the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) having previously determined that chemical weapons were used on the same date and in the same location.
The report was based on rigorous methodology determined by analyzing samples, munition remnants, topographical studies of the concerned area and gas dispersion models, and reviewing thousands of files of up to 400 gigabytes in size, as well as obtaining statements from more than 30 witnesses or survivors of the bombing incident, reviewing symptoms reported by victims and medical personnel, and examining photos, including satellite images, as well as conducting intensive consultations with experts, and analyzing data from State Parties, as well as from specialized and human rights organizations, including the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR). The OPCW also has laboratories that are among the most accurate in the world which analyze materials and samples. Moreover, the conclusions of the investigation mentioned in the report are considered conclusive and constitute a strong article of evidence that can be presented to public prosecutors in countries that enjoy universal jurisdiction, and can be used in the event of the establishment of a special international court for Syria, which is without a doubt a powerful blow to the Syrian regime and its Russian ally.
The report confirmed the responsibility of the Syrian regime for the Saraqeb attack, on February 4, 2018, concluding that there are reasonable grounds to believe that at approximately 21:22 on February 4, 2018, a military helicopter from the Syrian regime’s Air Force, under the control of the ‘Tiger Forces’, dropped at least one cylinder on eastern Saraqeb city. This cylinder ruptured and released a toxic gas, chlorine, which dispersed over a large area affecting 12 named individuals.
The ‘Tiger Forces’ are backed by Russia and, as SNHR indicated in a previous report, we believe that Russia was involved in this attack which occurred the day after the shooting down of a Russian warplane in Saraqeb. The Syrian regime’s constant refusal to allow the IIT to enter Syria, despite repeated requests, is an indication of the Syrian regime’s and its Russian ally’s fear of the regime’s crimes being exposed, with their sole interests being their unwillingness to expose the regime’s atrocious violations and their determination to conceal its repeated uses of weapons of mass destruction carried out in coordination and cooperation with Russia.