SAMS’s Dr. Tennari on chemical attacks in Syria.

“One victim of a chemical attack is one too many. Today, on this tragic date, we remember the victims of the East Ghouta attack and all victims of chemical attacks in Syria.” – Dr. Ahmad Tarakji, SAMS President

Three years ago, more than 1,200 had their lives taken from them in the brutal and illegal sarin gas attack on East Ghouta. 97% of the fatalities were civilians.

Since the conflict in Syria began through the end of 2015, there have been 161 chemical attacks, each a violation of international humanitarian and human rights law. These horrific attacks led to at least 1,491 deaths and 14,581 injuries from chemical exposure. SAMS documented these attacks in its report “A New Normal: Ongoing Chemical Weapons Attacks in Syria

“Fear and displacement are exactly the point of using chemical weapons. Fewer people have been killed by chemical weapons than by any other weapon, but it’s a weapon of fear.” –Kassem Eid, Moadamiya, Rural Damascus

77% of the chemical attacks in Syria occurred after the passage of UN Security Council Resolution 2118, which called for the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapon stockpiles. 2015 was the worst year for chemical attacks to date, with 69 attacks.

“After four years of conflict in Syria, I have more friends who have been killed than I have who are alive. I have seen too many people from my community take their last breath at my hospital. The hardest part is knowing every day that it will happen again – you will see more of your friends come in on stretchers, you will see more children die in front of you, you will again fear for your family as you hear the helicopters above. This life is not human.” – Dr. Mohammed Tennari, SAMS Idlib Coordinator

So far this year, there have been five chemical attacks. The most recent attack took place only a few weeks ago in eastern Aleppo City, killing a mother and her two children. More than 50 people were affected by the exposure. While the world has stood by watching, chemical attacks have become the new normal.

“Some people kept their birds in cages, and those were dead. Of course the free birds were okay. But humans cannot fly.” —Dr. Khalil Al Asmar, Douma, East Ghouta