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Statement by the Tánaiste on apparent chemical weapons attack in Syria

The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney TD, has unreservedly condemned the chemical attack in the city of Douma in Syria this weekend.

The Tánaiste said:

“It is extremely distressing to see images of children choking and unable to breathe, as a result of a conflict they cannot understand. Whole families were wiped out in basements where they were hiding in fear. Such attacks are absolutely barbaric, and simply unjustifiable in any circumstances.

This attack occurred almost a year to the day after the horrific chemical attack on Khan Sheikhoun. A UN investigation found extensive evidence that the Assad regime was responsible for that attack. The continued use of chemical weapons in Syria highlights the urgent need for accountability, and it is deeply regrettable that Russia has vetoed previous UN Security Council efforts to investigate and identify the perpetrators of chemical attacks in Syria.

The war in Syria has taken a cruel toll on the Syrian people over the last seven years, and the brutality of the Assad regime has led to untold suffering, with a particular impact on children. The protection of civilians is an obligation on all parties to this conflict.”