Søreide: ‘Syrian Gas-Attacks Must Be Punished’

Ine Eriksen SøreideForeign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide.Photo: Berit Roald / NTB scanpix

Within the past 72 hours, Syrian forces have intensified air assaults against rebel factions within the city of Douma, Syria, wreaking death, havoc and accusations of illegal, poison-gas attacks against helpless Syrian civilians.


Norwegian Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide issued a strong statement April 7th, saying; ‘I’m concerned with the intensified violence seen in Douma over the last 24 hours, including reports of increased air bombings over East Ghouta. We’re seeing reports that a large number of civilians may have been injured or killed by chemical fighting.’

‘Any use of chemical combatants is prohibited under the Chemical Level Convention and must be strongly condemned. Those responsible for the use of such weapons must and will be held responsible.’

Minister Søreide gave her intent to pursue allegations of Syrian chemical attacks through arm of the Organization for Chemical Weapons (OPCW),expressing concern over unconfirmed reports indicating that as many as 100 souls in Douma may have been killed with chemical weapons during Saturday’s assault.

As Syrian soldiers escalated their offensive to recapture one of the last rebel held cities,Syrian doctors & rescue workers said Sunday that dozens of people have died in apparent chemical attacks near Damascus. According to the USA based Syrian-American Medical Society in Washington, D.C., at least 40 souls have perished during Saturday evenings attacks upon Douma.

An attempt by the U.N. Security Council to stop the fighting with U.N. resolution has failed. More than 130,000 Syrians have evacuated Eastern Ghouta as part of negotiations between rebels and government factions. As many as 150,000 people still remain within the region, either unwilling or unable to leave.

The U.N. has declared Syria’s humanitarian situation as ‘severe.’ Saturday & Sunday’s vicious attacks upon Douma (12 miles outside Damascus) are the latest within Syria’s new, 2 month-old offensive against the reactionary group Jaish al-Islam. Syria’s Assad has been continuously accused of using illegal chemical weapons within heavily populated areas during the seven year-old Syrian civil war.

Over 1,700 have been reported dead since allied Russian forces joined with Syrian forces in fighting Douma’s rebel-held positions this past February.

The Syrian Civil War is an ongoing multi-sided armed conflict fought primarily between the government of President Bashar al-Assad and opposing rebel forces. The Syrian unrest began during the 2011 Arab Spring and escalated after protests calling for Assad’s removal were suppressed with brute force.




© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today