Nine years ago, early in the morning of August 21, 2013, the Assad regime released the nerve agent sarin on Syrian civilians in the Ghouta district of Damascus, killing more than 1,400 people — many of them children. Today, we recall with continuing horror this tragic event and we recommit ourselves to accountability for the perpetrators.
The United States remembers and honors the victims and survivors of the Ghouta attack and the many other chemical attacks we assess the Assad regime has launched. We condemn in the strongest possible terms any use of chemical weapons anywhere, by anyone, under any circumstances. There can be no impunity for those who use chemical weapons; the United States uses all available tools to promote accountability for such attacks.
The United States calls on the Assad regime to fully declare and destroy its chemical weapons program, in accordance with its international obligations, and for the regime to allow the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons’ Declaration Assessment Team access to the country to confirm Syria has resolved all remaining concerns about the regime’s chemical weapons program.
The United States strongly supports international and Syrian-led efforts to seek justice for the innumerable atrocities committed against the people of Syria, some of which rise to the level of war crimes and crimes against humanity. We also reaffirm our support for an inclusive political resolution to the Syrian conflict in line with UN Security Council resolution 2254.