Regime, opposition call for chemical weapons probe

March 20, 2013

The Syrian regime and the opposition National Coalition on Wednesday both called for international investigations into two attacks on Khan al-Asl and Otaibah. Each side has accused the other of using chemical weapons in those attacks. Please see the statements of the two parties below:

Syria Requests UN Secretary-General Form Mission to Investigate Terrorists' Use of Chemical Weapons in Khan al-Asal

DAMASCUS, (SANA) – The government of Syria requested that the UN Secretary-General form a specialized, independent and neutral technical mission to investigate terrorists' use of chemical weapons in Khan al-Asal in Aleppo province, the Foreign and Expatriates Ministry said on Wednesday.

The Ministry pointed out that this request affirms Syria's commitment to uncovering the details of this crime and the threats it poses to the safety of Syrian citizens, in addition to refuting all the lies propagated by the circles that support terrorism and terrorists.

On December 8th 2012, Syria informed the UN Secretary-General of its worries that some countries that support terrorism would provide chemical weapons to terrorist groups who would use and claim that it was the Syrian government that used them.

Earlier on Tuesday, Syria sent a letter to the UN Secretary-General after the terrorists committed their crime in Khan al-Asal, informing him of the details of this crime and demanding that the international community take preventative steps against these armed groups and its supporters out of Syria's commitment to protecting its people and its adherence to the rules and principles of international law.

Statement from the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces regarding the chemical attack that targeted Khan al-Asal in Aleppo and Otaibah in Outer Damascus

March 20, 2013

In the continuous chain of the regime's criminal acts against the Syrian people, two separate attacks in Khan al-Asal in Aleppo and Otaibah in Outer Damascus on Tuesday morning, which resulted in the deaths of 19 people and 86 cases of suffocation, some of them at dangerous levels.

The Coalition strongly condemns these acts, and places all responsibility on the Syrian regime. We demand an international investigation that will send teams to the aforementioned areas, and prosecute anyone involved in these acts in addition to other massacres toward the Syrian people.

Chemical weapons are internationally prohibited, even against enemies. All the evidence in our hands shows that the Assad regime is using them against the Syrian people. The witnesses and the photos show that the regime used chemical weapons. Using these kinds of weapons is a crime against humanity.

The National Coalition demands that international organizations form specialized teams regarding this issue, and send them to Syria to investigate these crimes. We will guarantee the safety [of investigators] in the liberated areas. The investigation must be followed up with the appropriate actions toward those responsible for these crimes.

The coalition also calls on the international community to uphold its political, humanitarian and legal responsibilities regarding these crimes. The situation needs fresh action to achieve freedom.