Thursday, 21 August 2014 00:00 GFP Columnist - Dr. Haytham Khoury
The 21st of August 2013 was not a usual day for Syrians. In that day, hundreds of thousands of Syrians woke up, filled of panic, on the sound of extreme explosions. They soon realized that it was the Assad’s missiles. Indeed, this was not the first time, but this time the explosions were greater.

Soon after the explosions, the people started to feel sick. They felt irritations in their eyes, noses, throats and respiratory tracts. These symptoms progressed into malaise, vomiting and suffocation. Many lost their consciousness and died.

Certainly, they suffered a lot, before passing away. No doubt, their families were agonized, seeing them passing away due to suffocation. More than 10.000 people were affected; roughly, 1500 lost their life, most of them are women and children. It was not difficult for the people to understand that they were victims of a poisonous gas; indeed, it was the sarin gas.

The Syrian people has been used to the Assad’s regime criminal behavior for the last 40 years, particularly since 2011. However, this time, its criminality surpassed all imagination. Its defiance and mockery of the international community exceeded all limits. This attack took place only 3 days after the arrival of the UN chemical-weapons investigators to Damascus to probe other suspected chemical attacks carried out by the regime. The regime prevented the team from timely visiting the places of the new attacks, on the ground that their mandate does not include investigating these sites.

When the UN Security Council expanded the team’s mission to probe the new attacks, most of the evidence was shattered. This mainly was because the regime carried out a barrage of the artillery shelling on the same areas for many hours, just after the end of the chemical attack. Furthermore, the resolution limited the mandate of the investigative team to exploring whether a chemical attack actually happened or not, without pointing out to the culprit. Then, when the UN team confirmed the attack, the Security Council ordered merely the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons without putting any mechanism for punishing the perpetrator. This was because certain members of the Security Council have protected the Assad. Unfortunately, those members regard the Syrian problem as a geopolitical issue with no moral dimension.

Is it enough to disarm the murderer from his deadliest weapons, while he is still killing many people with the conventional ones? Is this true justice. Certainly, the answer is “No”.

Today, we have killers who are still free, carrying out more crimes. There are victims for whom the International Community failed to bring about justice. We will not forget those victims.

We will stay faithful to their souls. We will do our best to bring the culprits to the International Criminal Court.

Image Contributed by Haytham Khoury

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