Following allegations of a chemical attack on August 21st by Syrian government forces, Center for Civilians in Conflict urges the Syrian government to give the UN chemical weapons team, currently in Damascus, immediate and unfettered access to the area.

Images from the attacks in towns outside of Damascus show hundreds of people killed and injured. Trained emergency first responders with emergency medicine must also have access to the area of the alleged attacks.

Civilians harmed in conflict, whether by conventional or chemical weapons, often live with the lasting consequences of their injuries for years to come.  Center for Civilians in Conflict urges the international community, particularly countries already providing aid such as Turkey, France, the US, and regional Arab powers to:

  • Provide antidotes (particularly ones that can be self-injected) to counter chemical weapons effects. These treatments should be sent immediately to field hospitals.
  • Train first responders and medical staff on how to treat, identify, and prevent the spread of chemical weapons exposure and provide them with proper protective equipment.
  • Plan and allocate resources and medical expertise to care for victims with immediate and lasting injuries, including those who may experience the after-effects of chemical weapons.
  • Work with local Syrian partners to underwrite and develop public service announcements explaining how to protect oneself in situations where chemical agents are used.
  • Commit to long-term financial assistance to develop the medical infrastructure in Syria including hospitals, diagnostic equipment, drugs for treatment, and palliative care for those with lasting injuries.

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Notes to editors:

Center for Civilians in Conflict (CIVIC)’s mission is to improve protection for civilians caught in conflicts around the world. We call on and advise international organizations, governments, militaries, and armed non-state actors to adopt and implement policies to prevent civilian harm. When civilians are harmed we advocate for the provision of amends and post-harm assistance. We bring the voices of civilians themselves to those making decisions affecting their lives.

For more information, contact Christopher Allbritton at +1 (917) 310-4785 or chris@civiliansinconflict.org.

 

Image courtesy of CIVIC
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