Washington, DC – The Coalition for a Democratic Syria (CDS) thanks Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) and his colleagues in the House of Representatives for the passage of a bill renewing Congress’ condemnation of the atrocities committed by the Assad Regime, Russia, Iran, and their proxies, and to insist that the international community establish mechanisms to address these crimes.
The resolution (H.Con.Res.121), introduced by Rep. Smith with the support of Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) and Ranking Member Eliot Engel (D-NY), was passed this evening by the House of Representatives. Having cleared legislative hurdles in the House, it moves next to the Senate for approval.
“We are grateful to these lawmakers for their solidarity in calling for an end to these senseless attacks,” said Erica Hanichak, an adviser of CDS. “We demand that all violators of international law in Syria face trial for their perpetuation of suffering and injustice.”
A February report published by the UN Commission of Inquiry accuses the regime and its allies for the bulk of war crimes in Syria through the use of barrel bombs, chemical weapons, weaponized starvation, and widespread torture, amounting to what the UN has called “extermination” at the hands of the state. According to the Syrian Network for Human Rights, over 95 percent of civilians killed in the Syrian conflict have died from attacks by the Assad regime and its allies.
The wholesale, deliberate infliction of death and suffering by these parties constitutes gross violations of international law. The continued perpetration of these crimes, without any promise of accountability, directly undermines hope for for a meaningful and lasting peace through the Geneva and Vienna processes.
Tomorrow marks the fifth anniversary of the Syrian Revolution.
The Coalition for a Democratic Syria is a group of Syrian-American non-profit organizations working together to bring about a swift end to the conflict and support the establishment of peace, freedom, and democracy in Syria. CDS is a multi-ethnic, multi-confessional, non-partisan organization. CDS includes: Syrian Emergency Task Force, United for Free Syria, Syrian American Council, Syrian Christians for Peace, the Association of Free Syrians, and the American Syriac Union.