The Syrian American Council today calls upon President Trump and his national security team to formulate a definitive response to the latest chemical gas attacks perpetrated by the Assad regime on the Syrian people--crimes which defy previously-stated American policy and occur in violation of international law.
The February 1st Douma City and the February 4 Saraqib chlorine gas attacks constitute the third and fourth chemical gas attacks perpetrated by the Assad regime on the Syrian people in a single month. They occur amidst reports that the regime has "evolved" its chemical weapons program and in the aftermath of a Russian United Nations Security Council veto which ended the mandate of the Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM), established to identify the perpetrators of chemical attacks in Syria.
Chemical weapons have been used repeatedly throughout the Syrian war; SAMS estimates at least 161 chemical weapons attacks through 2015. The use of chemical weapons has continued consistently since, making United States leadership on this matter an absolute necessity. In the past, such leadership has taken different military, political, and economic forms including the April 2017 strike on the Shairat Airbase--action taken by the Trump Administration in response to the Khan Sheikhoun chemical weapons massacre which enforced the red line initially articulated by former President Obama. As President Trump has stated: "It is in the vital national security interest of the United States to prevent and deter the spread and use of deadly chemical weapons."
The Syrian American Council iterates to President Trump the urgency of the situation. The lack of leadership among the international community in response to the commission of war crimes in Syria has allowed perpetrators to continue targeting innocent women, children, and men with impunity.