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No: 231, 21 August 2013, Press Release Regarding the Attacks Perpetrated by the Forces of the Regime in Various Neighborhoods of Damascus in Syria

Our initial reaction regarding the news on the attacks perpetrated by the forces of the regime in various districts of Damascus today (August 21) in the morning hours, through the use of chemical weapons had been shared with the public.

Images and information collected during the day and reflected in the international media to a large extent prove that a massacre, which cannot be explained with human understanding and conscience has taken place and hundreds of Syrians, including children and babies, lost their lives and were injured.

Such an attack can only be defined as barbarism and atrocity. Turkey closely knows the people of Syria and is aware that they are an ancient, conscientious and noble nation. Thus, we do not have any doubts that no normal Syrian citizen, whether he/she is on the side of regime or on the side of the opposition, whether he/she is a soldier or a civilian in this conflict continuing for 2.5 years in Syria, can accept such an atrocity, and that even the Syrians keeping silent compulsorily cannot tolerate these events. The people who are responsible for this atrocity are the administrators of the regime and a ravenous group aiming at preserving their power at all costs. These people killing their own people and destroying Syria will answer for their deeds sooner or later.

The international community and the UN are also facing a serious challenge before the human conscience and history. In the face of this massacre, which violates the international law and constitutes a serious crime against humanity, we call on the UN Security Council to fulfill now its responsibilities stemming from the United Nations Charter.

H.E. Ahmet Davutoğlu, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey expressed our appeal personally to H.E. Ban Ki Moon, the UN Secretary-General, in a telephone conversation that he held with him tonight. Moreover, Turkey has taken the initiative through the Turkish Permanent Representation at the UN Secretariat General, in order that the UN Mission of Investigation in Syria investigates this issue. In addition to the letter conveyed to the UN Secretary-General, Turkey will be co-signatory to the letter to be conveyed by several States to the UN Secretary General concerning this subject and will continue to contribute actively to the efforts initiated in New York for the UN Security Council to be convened immediately to take up the issue.