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The Syrian Emergency Task Force Remembers the Tenth Anniversary of the Chemical Weapons Attack on Ghouta, Syria, by the Assad Regime

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WASHINGTON, D.C.- Today, August 21st, 2023 marks the tenth anniversary of the horrendous Syrian regime chemical weapons attack on the town Ghouta. This attack was the largest chemical weapons massacre in the Syrian conflict. In the early hours of August 21, 2013, the Assad regime dropped rockets filled with sarin gas on innocent civilians. In the following minutes, 1,400 innocent people, mostly women and children, suffered a brutal death, injuring over 10,000 civilians.  

“Cookie died,” cried a sweet three-year-old girl, Amira, as she fled the sarin gas. Her pet bird fell dead where it stood, as did all the other animals and people. The merciless chemical weapon left very few survivors. “All she knows from this world is escaping through tunnels from planes and bombs,” said Amira’s father. “My princess lost her bird, Cookie, and could not bear what we had been through… fleeing from the crimes of a dictator who killed our people with chemical weapons.”

“What I remember from that terrifying day,” says Amira’s mother, “are the short scenes that I witnessed through the fingers of my husband, his fingers that he used to cover my eyes so I didn’t see the terror. The bodies of victims were lying all around… I remember that my daughter Judy was with her dad and Amira, our other daughter, was between my hands, I didn’t know if they were hurt or sleeping. We were all sharing the oxygen device among our family and with another victim that all of a sudden lost consciousness… I remember wanting to throw up… I remember everyone vomiting in the streets and babies crying and women screaming and men crying… my family was in the car and we didn’t know where they were going to run away to… I want to forget all of it, I only want to remember drinking coffee with my husband on our balcony seconds before the chemical weapons attack!” 

We remember the innocent victims who stood no chance against the brutal chemical weapon, sarin. 

As we reflect on the tenth anniversary of the Ghouta chemical weapons attack, at a time when world leaders are normalizing relations with war criminal Bashar Al-Assad, we urge the international community to prioritize holding the Assad regime accountable for its crimes against humanity and use of illegal chemical weapons against innocent civilians. The world must not turn a blind eye from the unspeakable horrors committed against the Syrian people. 


For press inquiries please contact:
Maria Cure
Director of Communications
[email protected]