The US-Russian Negotiations on Chemical Weapons Elimination in Syria
September 15, 2013
The Syrian Coalition reviewed the diplomatic initiative sponsored by Russia which proposes halting punitive military strikes against Assad in return for turning over its stockpile of chemical weapons. The Syrian Coalition considers the Russian proposal encouraging to the Assad regime and will continue its aggressive behavior inside Syria. It emboldens the regime to escalate its military offensive as there has already been an intensified aerial bombardment on towns and villages across Syria.
The Syrian Coalition stresses the need to seize the opportunity to stop Assad's military operations against residential areas and put an end to the suffering of the Syrian people. The following five points sum up the Coalition’s position to address the Assad regime’s continued crimes against humanity including the use of chemical weapons:
- The Assad regime has a long record manipulating and breaking agreements and laws. Assad only accepts deals to buy time. After Assad and his allies felt the seriousness when the use of force was threatened he accepted the Russian proposal to eliminate chemical weapons under international supervision and sign the treaty banning the use of chemical weapons. The Syrian Coalition emphasizes the need, in this regard, for the UN Security Council to impose measures under Chapter VII of the UN Charter to ensure the Assad regime comply and join the treaty banning the use of chemical weapons.
- In addition to eliminating chemical weapons, those who ordered and carried out the use of chemical weapons must be brought to international trial.
- Chemical weapons use is just one of the many crimes against humanity Assad is committing against the Syrian people including the use of air force and ballistic missiles. The Syrian Coalition stresses the need to force the Assad regime not only to stop the use of chemical weapons, but also to stop the use of air force and ballistic missiles against civilian areas.
- The Assad regime should move its arsenal of heavy weapons away from civilian areas and must be stopped from using those weapons against innocent civilians.
- The Assad regime must not be allowed to use the Russian proposal and its accession to the treaty banning chemical weapons as a pretext to continue to kill the Syrian people with impunity. The Syrian Coalition urges Arab brethren and Friends of Syria to strengthen the capabilities of the military opposition and enable it to neutralize Assad’s air force as well as his tanks. Only by doing so can the Assad regime be forced to stop its military campaign and accept a political solution that would lead to a democratic transition in Syria.
We ask for Mercy for our martyrs, health for our wounded, and freedom for our detainees.
Long live Syria and its people, free and with honor.