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US, UK, France vow response to new Syria gas attacks

August 22, 2018 at 7:00 pm

Syrians receive medical treatment after the Assad regime allegedly carried out a chemical gas attack in the de-conflict zone in Damascus, Syria on 20 July 2017 [File photo, Alaa Muhammed/Anadolu Agency]

The US, UK, and France on Tuesday once again condemned the use of chemical weapons by Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria.

In a joint statement on the occasion of the fifth anniversary of Ghouta sarin gas attack in Damascus that killed hundreds, the three countries said that since 2012, the regime has resorted to the use of chemical weapons during military offensives, not only in Ghouta but also in Khan Sheikhoun, Ltamenah, Saraqib, and Douma.

At least 100 people were killed and hundreds of others injured in the chemical attack in April 2017 in Khan Sheikhoun in western Idlib province.

“As Permanent Members of the Security Council, we reaffirm our shared resolve to preventing the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime, and for holding them accountable for any such use,” said the statement.

Read: US warns ‘unwise’ for Syria to use weaponised gas, slams Russia

The US, UK, and France said their position on the regime’s use of chemical weapons is unchanged.

“As we have demonstrated, we will respond appropriately to any further use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime, which has had such devastating humanitarian consequences for the Syrian population,” according to the statement.

The three governments also welcomed a decision by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in June to name those behind toxic arms attacks in Syria, saying it “will help ensure that the perpetrators of chemical weapons use in Syria cannot escape identification.

“We remain committed to securing justice for victims of chemical weapons use,” they said.

Read: Chemical attack on Ghouta injures dozens

They also voiced grave concern about reports of a military offensive by the Syrian regime against civilians in Idlib and the resulting humanitarian consequences.

“We urge supporters of the Assad regime to use their influence to uphold the global norm against chemical weapons use.”

They also called on the international community to support efforts to end Syria’s use of chemical weapons.