A survivor of a 2013 Syria sarin gas attack said the entire world is guilty for not doing more to end the country’s drawn-out civil war.
Kassem Eid, a Palestinian Syrian rebel and human rights activist, called on the international community to “do something” to stop the conflict, which has killed hundreds of thousands of Syrians since it began in 2011.
“My message to the international community is that you should be ashamed,” Eid said Sunday during an appearance on CNN. “You are as guilty as [Syrian President Bashar Assad] and [Russian President Vladimir Putin] and Iran on the atrocities in Syria.”
“I don’t know how anyone can just look the other way or say this is too graphic to watch,” he continued. “I know it’s too graphic to watch, but it’s real. Those people are real. Those children who suffocated are real. They have names.”
Eid called on President Donald Trump and other world leaders to intervene militarily after a reported chemical attack carried out by the Syrian government on Saturday killed dozens of civilians in the rebel-held town of Douma.
“You should do something right now to save whoever is left in Douma,” Eid said. “People are forced to flee, women will be detained and raped, men will be slaughtered, children will be killed ― just like they do each and every single time, because it happened in my town. I survived it.”
Eid described surviving a 2013 chemical attack outside Damascus in an essay last year in The New York Times. Hundreds of people were killed after Assad’s regime reportedly launched rockets containing sarin into the rebel-held region of Ghouta.
“Dozens of men, women and children writhed on the ground,” Eid wrote. “Others screamed out for doctors, wailing, praying, pleading for their beloved fallen to breathe again.”
Trump tweeted Sunday that there would be a “big price to pay” for the fresh attack, and condemned the Russian and Iranian governments for backing Syria’s oppressive leadership. Republican lawmakers have called for a swift military response from the U.S.. It remains unclear what specific actions Trump will take.
Eid encouraged U.S. military forces to destroy the Syrian airports that can be used to launch chemical attacks against civilians.
He also called on the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Nikki Haley, to resign. He accused Haley’s office of ignoring him two months ago when he warned that the Assad regime was planning a “large-scale chemical weapons attack.”