Seven years have passed since the first public accusation by the Syrian Opposition accusing the Syrian regime of using internationally prohibited Chemical weapons. Thousands of photos and videos showed the suffocation of children, women, and elderly. However, the Syrian Regime and its allies have always denied using the chemical weapons, rather accusing the Syrian Opposition of doing so at every ground attack the regime was launching or whenever it was difficult for its troops to surround a specific area under the control of the Opposition, although the Assad regime have used intensive and random aerial as well as artillery shelling, and have killed thousands of civilians.
After using the internationally prohibited chemical weapons for several times in the ongoing Syrian conflict for almost a decade, the OPCW (Organization for the Prohibiting of Chemical Weapons) has finally published the results of the first report by its investigation team (IIT) which is responsible for identifying the party that used the chemical weapons in Syria. This report came after the declaration of the Fact-Finding Mission sent by the same organisation, that chemical weapons have been used in Syria.
The above-mentioned report included a thorough investigation in which all the information collected by the investigation team has been reviewed. The information was collected from areas that witnessed the chemical attacks on the 24th, 25th, and the 30th of March 2017 in al-Latamneh town and its surroundings in the northern countryside of Hama. The report included samples and remnants analysis, interviews with eyewitnesses, the symptoms reported by victims, photos examination (including satellite images), as well as intensive consultation with experts.
The report also identified the type of airplanes that launched the rockets loaded with chemical weapons, its affiliation (to which air force does it belong), the airport they took off from, the type of the shell, the type of the chemical substance (Sarin two times, and Chlorine one time), the place that was shelled and its nature, in addition to the number of the victims in each attack.
Finally, the report clearly identified the party that is responsible for using the chemical weapons by mentioning (they were Syrian Air force’s personnel), the coordinator of the teams also declared that “such strategic attacks would have never been able to be committed unless they were given by the supreme authorities of the military leadership of the Syrian Arab Republic”.
Thus, it has finally been proved to the international community and the world that the Syrian regime that had signed the prohibition of the chemical weapons convention in October 2013, has clearly violated its terms by using the chemical weapons against the civilians several times, which led to the death of thousands of Syrian people.
Now after nine years of waiting for justice, the Syrian people have the right to question the following:
Isn’t it the time yet for the victims’ families to witness practical procedures taken by the international community to hold the Syrian regime accountable for its crimes, after it has been proven that the regime had committed war crimes against them?
Isn’t it the time yet for Syrians to see their murderer behind bars?
Would justice ever have an actual meaning after they have seen the world leaving them behind to face a criminal dictator who has mastered killing and torturing them?