On March 16th, 2015 (March 17 approx 2 am Syria) the Assad regime dropped four barrel bombs on the town of Sarmin. Physicians state a “strong chemical” was used. Disaster units and the local hospital were quickly overwhelmed with the high number of victims.
Victims of Chemical Attack on Sarmin, Syria March 16, 2015
As the injured were rushed to receive emergency treatment, a media activist was on the scene documenting the horror as people were gasping for air, choking and some could not breathe at all. One small child lay lifeless as physicians tried desperately to insert a breathing tube. A source told me that nearly 100 people were affected by the chlorine gas attack. Some victims described “their homes filling with a smoke-like substance.”
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights stated that six individuals were martyred from “suffocation.” The people that were killed included a family of three children, a man and his wife, and a grandmother.
Less than 24 hrs earlier on March 16th, US Secretary John Kerry made a statement saying that the US will eventually have to negotiate with Assad. He went on to say that there were already discussions going on to try to pave that way. This news infuriated many Syrians, who went to twitter using hashtags #NoGoAssad, #NoNegoAssad, #NoJustice, #JustSayNo. The photo of the three dead children from the chemical attack is from twitter and the message from is clear.
Idlib Srmin important chemical gases in the area and recording a lot of cases, 16 3 2015
On March 6th, the UN Security Council Adopted Resolution 2209 (2015), “Condemning the Use of Chlorine Gas as Weapon in Syria.” This resolution determined that if there was a violation, “Chapter VII” of the United Nations Charter could be implemented, including “allowing States to use all possible means, including economic sanctions and military action, to enforce United Nations resolutions.”
NewsBlaze emailed the details of this incident to the US State Department at 10:43 pm on March 16th. In a brief conversation with the State Department this morning, I was told they would try to have additional information today.
The Syrian American Council, America’s largest Syrian American organization, issued a statement on today demanding an immediate no-fly zone over Syria following this lethal chemical attack on civilians. Mohammed Ghanem, the Government Relations Director at SAC made the following statement:
“It is no coincidence that this attack came just after Secretary Kerry, on the anniversary of the Syrian Revolution, declared that the U.S. would need to talk to Assad and declined to say Assad must go. Assad took Kerry’s statements as a green light for renewed chemical attacks. The Obama Administration should either adopt more aggressive messaging against Assad, or admit that it no longer has an interest in removing his vicious regime from power.”
According to one Activist that I spoke with, “Syrians wait for the International Community to act. If they do not act now, their mouths move, but the words are meaningless.”