Statement on tenth anniversary of chemical weapons attack in Ghouta district of Damascus, Syria

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August 21, 2023 – Ottawa, Ontario – Global Affairs Canada

Global Affairs Canada today issued the following statement:

“Today, Canada remembers the victims of the chemical weapons attack launched by the Assad regime in the Ghouta district of Damascus, Syria. More than 1,000 people were killed, many of them children, as a result of Syria’s use of the lethal nerve agent sarin.

“It has been a decade since the atrocious attack in Ghouta, an attack that was neither the first nor the last chemical weapons assault by the Assad regime against its people. The Syrian regime continues its flagrant disregard for its obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention and UN Security Council Resolution 2118 and refuses to take responsibility for its horrific crimes. It has also repeatedly failed to submit a complete and accurate declaration of its chemical weapons program to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

“Canada continues to be gravely concerned by the Syrian regime’s possession and use of chemical weapons and its gross violations of international humanitarian and international human rights law. We are actively working with the international community to hold those responsible for these atrocities to account.

“Canada again calls on the Assad regime to fulfill its international obligations and work in good faith with the OPCW, as required of all States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention. We unreservedly condemn the use of chemical weapons anywhere, at any time, by anyone under any circumstances — which is unequivocally a war crime — and we stand by the Syrian people as they demand justice for the atrocities committed in Syria.”

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