NGO Alliance Condemns Chemical Attack in Syria

InterAction President Lindsay Coates calls for UN Security Council to take action

WASHINGTON – InterAction is shocked by the reported use of chemical weapons on Tuesday in Idlib, Syria. Information from health responders in Idlib indicate that more than 70 people have been killed, and many more injured, in this week’s attack.

"Our thoughts today are with the people of Idlib, the medical personnel caring for the injured, and for all humanitarian workers supporting the Syrian civilians, who should be protected and not attacked. All working for safety and peace in the region represent the best of humanity under these terrible circumstances," said Lindsay Coates, president of InterAction. "Chemical weapons cause intolerable suffering. This attack is a clear violation of international humanitarian law. World leaders must act to ensure this never happens again."

Chemical weapons are prohibited without exception in international law, in all situations of armed conflict. Public condemnation of chemical weapons use in the First World War resulted in their absolute prohibition in 1925. This prohibition is universally accepted and one of the longest-standing norms regulating permissible means and methods of warfare. In 2013, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted a binding resolution barring the use, development, production, acquisition, stockpiling or retention of chemical weapons by any party in Syria.

"The United States and Russia played critical roles in securing this agreement and now need to see it through. The Security Council must act swiftly and decisively to not only enforce its binding measures on Syria but to ensure that there will be consequences for the parties responsible for this attack," said Coates. "The world cannot afford for this atrocity to go unchecked."

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