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Now more than ever, Syria needs the laws of war


The alleged chemical attack that took place in the town of Khan Sheikhoun, in north-western Syria, has outraged the international community.

Friday April 7, 2017

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The production and use of chemical weapons is absolutely prohibited under international humanitarian law.

It is being reported that at least 80 people have been killed in the attack with hundreds more suffering symptoms consistent with reactions to a neurotoxic agent. The death toll is expected to rise with many of the injured still in a critical condition in hospital.  

"The production and use of chemical weapons is absolutely prohibited under international humanitarian law," says Yvette Zegenhagen, National Manager for International Humanitarian Law at Australian Red Cross.

"192 States, including Syria, have signed the Chemical Weapons Convention, which bans the use of chemical agents such as sarine, chlorine and cyanide among others."

This is only the latest in a string of suspected chemical attacks that have taken place throughout the six year Syrian conflict, in which an estimated 400,000 people have died.  

"It is critical that all parties to the armed conflict abide by their commitments under international humanitarian law to prevent unnecessary suffering and ensure the protection of civilians," says Yvette Zegenhagen.

Australian Red Cross believes that Syria is everyone's crisis and everyone can help.
Donations to our Syria Crisis Appeal have helped equip a mobile health clinic, provide emergency food parcels and medicine, repaired water supply systems and helped Syrian refugee families pay bills and school fees.

You can help with a donation.

Since the start of the conflict, Syrian Arab Red CRescent has been working to save lives. Photo: ICRC
Since the start of the conflict, Syrian Arab Red CRescent has been working to save lives. Photo: ICRC