The use of chemical weapons against the Syrian people is a war crime where complacence is unacceptable

The Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe received, with alarm, reports of the use of chemical weapons and poison gas by Syrian regime forces in rural areas close to the capital Damascus, leading to large numbers of victims.

This incident represents a tragedy of the worst kind, emphasising that the Syrian regime is intent on prosecuting the war against its own people, and callously taking the lives of its citizens using the most horrific means at its disposal. The Federation fears greatly for the safety of inhabitants of towns targeted by chemical attack near Damascus, given that medical provisions necessary for treatment in such cases are practically non-existent.

The Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe, as it condemns in the strongest terms the use of chemical weapons and poison gas by the Syrian regime—a tactic tried and tested on various occasions previously, at the same time, expresses its shock at the indifference of the international community to this war crime, which casts grave doubts on the seriousness of statements by international actors that the use of chemical weapons is tantamount to crossing a “red line”, which would not be tolerated.

The Federation also warns that international inaction in face of the horrific massacres committed by the military regime in Egypt against peaceful protesters, and the blood of thousands of men and women spilt in squares across Egypt in recent days, is tempting the Syrian regime to intensify its killing spree, two and half years after declaring war on its people.

The Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe calls on the European Union, the Organisation for Islamic Cooperation (OIC), and relevant international bodies, to urgently take all necessary steps to ensure the protection of the Syrian people, and prevent the war criminals from committing atrocities, as well as demanding an international campaign of medical assistance for the stricken areas as quickly as possible.

Brussels, 23 August 2013

The Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe