The Syrian American Council, a grassroots Syrian-American advocacy organization, today expresses its praise for a new report by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) that confirms the use of nerve gas in the Khan Sheikhun Chemical Massacre of April 2017. While the report does not name the culprit, it is our view that dictator Bashar al-Assad’s culpability for this heinous crime is already proven. Both local eyewitnesses and American aircraft radars identified an Assad regime plane dropping a payload at the moment the chemical attack began.
“The OPCW report is a vindication for the victims of this horrible massacre in the face of cruel and ignorant conspiracy theories trying to absolve Assad,” said SAC President Mirna Barq. “President Trump was right to call Assad an ‘animal’ following this ruthless crime; as ISIS reaches its end in Mosul and Raqqah, the President should act on his beliefs and devise a real strategy to remove Assad from power, so that Syrians can breathe again.”
President Trump responded to the Khan Sheikhun Massacre, which left some 100 civilians dead from suffocation, by launching a barrage of Tomahawk missiles on the Shairat Airbase from which the offending warplane took off. The Trump Administration on Tuesday night warned that the Assad regime was preparing to use chemical weapons again and vowed to Assad that “he and his military will pay a heavy price” for going ahead with the attack. Secretary of Defense James Mattis credited this warning with preventing a chemical attack, commenting: “They took the warning seriously. They didn’t do it.”'