For Immediate Release
ANNIVERSARY OF GHOUTA CHEMICAL MASSACRE
Today, the Syrian American Council marks with sadness the third anniversary of the Assad regime's heinous massacre of over 1400 civilians -- the vast majority of them women and children -- in a Sarin nerve gas attack against the people of East and West Ghouta in the suburbs of Damascus. Although three years have passed since that terrible day and the disastrous chemical weapons deal that followed, the victims of the Sarin chemical massacre have yet to see either justice or serious measures from the international community to stop the slaughter.
The Framework for the Elimination of Syrian Chemical Weapons, which the United States concluded with Russia in lieu of promised "game-changer" strikes against Assad for violating President Obama's chemical "red line," was meant to avert U.S. action in the region and eliminate Assad's chemical stockpiles. It failed on both counts. America is at war with ISIS in both Syria and Iraq because of the vacuum created by U.S. inaction against Assad in September 2013, and, as The Wall Street Journal revealed in July 2015, Assad retained enough Sarin to replicate the 2013 Massacre many times over. Assad has also launched over 100 chemical chlorine attacks since the Sarin Massacre.
The 2013 chemical deal also amounted to a "green light" for Assad to kill civilians and whetted Russia's appetite for a period of extraordinary aggression in its foreign policy. In February-March 2014, Russian forces invaded Ukraine and annexed the Crimean territory of Ukraine to Russia. In September 2015 -- after years of stringing the United States along through multiple "Geneva processes" -- Russia initiated a direct military intervention in Syria in support of Bashar al-Assad. Russian warplanes have fast emerged as the deadliest killers of civilians in Syria.
Today, on the third anniversary of the Sarin Massacre, the world is again abuzz over a "viral" image of a Syrian child who suffered from the consequences of American apathy toward the slaughter in Syria. "Like the hundreds of child Sarin victims in 2013 and the drowned child refugee Aylan Kurdi in 2015, Omran Daqneesh, who was wounded in a Russian airstrike, has today become a symbol of Syrian suffering," said Mirna Barq, the
President of the Syrian American Council. "The children who were gassed in 2013, the 400,000 civilians who died due to Assad regime atrocities,
and the millions of refugees who have fled Assad's killing machine are still waiting for their suffering to move the world to action against their oppressor."
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