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#Factoftheday – Chemical attack in Syria: Time to stop passing the buck?

On 4th April 2017, a chemical attack hit the city of Khan Cheikhoun in the North-Western province of Idleb. The first explosion happened around 7:00 am.

The European Union’s aid chief called to support Syria for a better situation in today’s international conference about Syria. But that one attack shows how long the process will be. Federica Mogherini thinks of a potential link between the attack and the goal of this peace conference.

A first report shows the death toll increased dramatically during the day of the attack going from 58 to 65 and 100 including 20 children and 17 women, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR). Beside victims, there are 400 injured people victim of asphyxia, according to Union of Medical Care and relief Organizations (UOSSM).
« The report doesn’t stop to get worse and attacks are still happening in the region of Idleb and Hama », said the Paris based organization. After the first attack, a hospital has been targeted by explosives causing important damages and forcing doctors to flee.

The United States, France, and the United Kingdom have put forward this Monday evening a resolution paper aiming to condemn the chemical attack, and to call for a quick and complete investigation a day before the emergency meeting of the UN security council.

Staffan de Mistura, the special reporter of the United Nation for Syria, stated that the UN will aim to clearly identify responsibilities and to punish perpetrators of the chemical attack.

The three western countries and Syrian opposition blame Bachar al-Assad this war crime. But the Syrian army confirms in a paper published by the official agency Sana, that they never used chemical weapons against anyone or in any place, and will never do it. Besides, they incriminate rebels for this tragedy. « Terrorists and those who support them are responsible to have used chemical and toxic substances and to have been negligent with innocent’s citizens lives. »
The Russian authorities declare that the Russian aviation targeted a rebel warehouse that was containing toxic substances.
“According to the data of the Russian airspace control, Syrian aviation hit near Khan Cheikhoun, in a large terrorist warehouse”, stated the Russian minister of the Defense. He added that “this warehouse was used to manufacture bombs, with toxic substances.”

This war has killed 320 000 people since march 2011 so far.
The province of Idleb is mostly controlled by a rebel alliance and jihadists, and is being regularly targeted by strikes from the regime and by Russian aviation. It has also been targeted by raids from the anti-jihadists coalition led by the United Stated.

This chemical weapon attack echoes with a dark past: the massacre in Ghouta, in the suburbs of Damas, on 21st august 2013. The shelling of this zone was made with shell filled with sarin a highly lethal substance. It has caused the death of hundreds of people, going from 300 to 1500 killed people according to diverse sources.

Madjid Guechati

Sources :

Adeline Silva Pereira

Après avoir effectué la deuxième année du master Sécurité Globale analyste politique trilingue à l'Université de Bordeaux, j'effectue un stage au sein d'EU Logos afin de pouvoir mettre en pratique mes compétences d'analyste concernant l'actualité européenne sur la défense, la sécurité et plus largement la coopération judiciaire et policière.

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