On Monday, the Syrian Archives and the Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression provided investigative and prosecution authorities in Germany, Sweden, and France with additional information regarding the Syrian regime’s chemical attacks in Ghouta, Damascus, in 2013, and Khan Sheikhoun, south of Idleb, in 2017.
The Syrian Archive also provided information on the Ghouta attack to investigating judges in France, as a contribution to the ongoing judicial investigations into these crimes.
This new information and evidence come after contributing to previous files covering chemical attacks, prepared in partnership with the Open Society Justice Initiative and civil rights advocates.
The Syrian Archive will provide an open-source media database, as well as audio and visual documents collected in connection with the attacks, as well as content verification and incident investigation reports.
The Syrian Archive will also provide the command structure and operational areas of a faction of Syrian forces allegedly linked to the 2013 Ghouta attack, which was determined on the basis of verifiable observations.
Libby McAvoy, a legal researcher at the Syrian Archives, said the additional information was aimed at helping to fill the gaps identified during their initial work to compile the original complaints, with the aim of continuing to support an ongoing and robust investigation process.
Regarding the Assad regime’s claim that the Syrian opposition used chlorine gas in the 2018 bombing of Aleppo, McAvoy said the incident was not relevant to the legal argument in the complaint and was therefore not part of the additional information.
“This comes five years after the chemical weapons attack on Khan Sheikhoun, which killed more than 90 people, most of them children, and hundreds were injured,” Steve Costas, senior legal adviser at the Open Society Justice Initiative, told Syria TV.
“The perpetrators of this crime are still out of justice. Now, with the spread of atrocities in Ukraine, the world has woken up to the possibility of using these heinous weapons again against innocent civilians, and the judicial authorities in France, Germany, and Sweden have received complaints about chemical weapons attacks in Syria. But they must receive the political and financial support needed to bring these cases to the courtrooms. The international community then will be able to send the message that justice will extend to everyone who uses these illegal weapons, anywhere in the world.”
With regard to the August 21st, 2013 attack on Ghouta, the Syrian Center for Information and Freedom of Expression will provide information on the chain of command of various factions related to Syrian forces, as well as original videos were taken by field staff at the Violations Documentation Centre in Syria at the time of the attack.
This article was edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.