The text of the following statement was released by UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, and U.S. Acting Secretary John Sullivan.
Today marks one year since the heinous attack on the town of Khan Sheikhoun, where Asad’s forces unleashed sarin nerve gas with tragic consequences for hundreds of men, women and children.
For more than seven long years there has been no let-up in the atrocities committed by the Syrian regime, enabled by its backers, in flagrant violation of international law. The suffering that has been inflicted on the Syrian people by the Asad regime and its backers is abhorrent.
In 2013, Russia promised to ensure Syria would abandon all of its chemical weapons. Since then, international investigators mandated by the UN Security Council have found the Asad regime responsible for using poison gas in four separate attacks. Instead of fulfilling its promise, Russia reacted by using its Security Council veto to shut down the investigation.
Each time a chemical weapon is used, it undermines the global consensus against their employment. Any such use is a clear violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention and gravely undermines the rules-based international order.
We condemn the use of chemical weapons by anyone, anywhere. We are committed to ensuring that all those responsible use are held to account. We will not rest in our efforts to seek justice for the victims of these abhorrent attacks in Syria.