By Sarp Ozer
Turkish Presidential Spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin on Sunday said that the Bashar al-Ashad regime must be held accountable for repeated attacks in Syria.
“We harshly condemn the chemical attack in Syria’s Douma that killed at least 70 civilians, including women and children, according to the initial findings,” Kalin said in a written statement.
According to local civil defense agency White Helmets, Assad regime forces struck targets in Duma, a Damascus suburb, in a midnight attack using poisonous gas that left at least 70 civilians dead.
Kalin pointed out that attacks on innocent civilians with chemical and conventional weapons was a violation of international law, especially the UN Security Council resolutions no. 2118, 2209 and 2235.
On Feb. 24, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2401 which called for a month-long cease-fire in Syria – especially in Eastern Ghouta -- to allow the delivery of humanitarian aid.
Despite the resolution, the regime and its allies in early March launched a major ground offensive backed by Russian air power aimed at capturing opposition-held parts of Eastern Ghouta.
“In this framework, the Syrian regime should be held accountable for the [chemical] attacks in different parts of the country at different times,” Kalin added.
Kalin urged the international community to take necessary steps to prevent similar war crimes.
Earlier this month, a UN commission of inquiry released a report accusing the regime of committing war crimes in Eastern Ghouta, including the use of chemical weapons against civilians.
Syria has been locked in a devastating civil war since 2011, when the regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity.