End of Bearableness

TO THE PUBLIC OPINION : 25 Years after Halabja/ Poison Gas Attacks by the Syrian Army/ Does History Repeat itself?

German Aid Organizations Wadi and Mesop call on the German Government to act

Reports on the usage of chemical weapons against the Syrian opposition und civilian population gain substance. Israel’s military intelligence concludes it to be probable that Syrian troops deployed chemical agents against the rebels in the city of Homs on March 19th. The documented wounds match those known after the use of Sarin, one of several chemical warfare agents proven to be stored by the Syrian state.

Syria is known to have the fourth largest chemical weapons arsenal in the world, after the USA, Russia and North Korea. These weapons of mass destruction so far were considered as an ace up the sleeve of the regime. Up to now the US and parts of Europe presumed that the regime was just exerting diplomatic pressure by its C-weapon arsenal. Should reports on its deployment in Homs be verified, this assumption would be proven wrong.

The strategy of diffidence towards a regime proceeding unscrupulously with all military might against its own population is disastrous. This has been obvious for long. The ‘red line’ US president Barak Obama spoke of referring to Syria is possibly already crossed.

From a humanitarian perspective the limit of bearableness has long been overstepped. High UN representatives are speaking by now of the largest humanitarian catastrophe after World War II. The Syrian regime strode over 70.000 dead. It uses torture of the worst kind and executions without verdict as part of its ‘fight against terrorism’. From there it is only a small step towards the local usage of chemical weapons.

In this the Syrian dictatorship resembles the past Iraqi regime. Saddam Hussein as well had chemical weapons used to fight „terrorists“.  Poison-gas was used against Kurdish villages in dozens of cases in the 1980s without any international consequence. In March 1988, exactly 25 years before the possible deployment of Sarin in the Syrian city of Homs, the Kurdish city of Halabja was bombarded with poison-gas. About 5000 people died an agonizing death, a further 7000 to 10,000 people died in the aftermath.

Halabja may not be afar from Homs. Back then, Western states failed when they did not take the locally contained poison-gas attacks for serious. Today, they again stand by and watch how a cornered regime is mobilizing the worst weapons against its population.

Only recently, the German parliament commemorated for the first time the poison-gas attacks on Halabja by the Iraqi army. If this is not to remain an empty gesture, everything possible must be done to protect the Syrian population from another deployment of chemical gas.

Mesop and Wadi, therefore, call on the German government to take initiative on the European and international level. The events in Homs and other places in Syria must be examined. Steps must be taken to protect the civilian population. This comprises the establishment of no-fly-zones and safe havens.

The German government is called upon to enhance its humanitarian aid for the victims in the Syrian tragedy, as well as to generously accommodate Syrian refugees.

WADI e.V. Deutschland – Herborner Str. 62 – D-60439 Frankfurt a. M. – Phone: 069-57002440 – Fax: +49 69 975392640 – E-Mail: info@wadinet.de -www.wadi-online.de

Mesopotamische Gesellschaft e.V.  – PO Box 5135 – D 61440 D-Oberursel – www.mesop.de – contact: mesop@online.de  – phone 06171 74135

Wadi Office Iraq : Falah Murad khan Shakarm – Iraq project coordinator -WADI Organization  – Tel: 00964 7701588173

www.wadi-online.de / www.stopfgmkurdistan.org