Syria (MNN) — Survivors and activists gathered at several sites in northwest Syria this week to mark the 10th anniversary of chemical attacks that killed over 1,400 people.
On September 21, 2013, Syria’s government attacked a town held by opposition forces with rockets containing sarin – one of the most toxic chemical warfare agents.
“The use of chemical weapons is a red line that, unfortunately, was crossed, and it caused significant loss of life,” Samuel* of Redemptive Stories says.
“This is not the first time, nor – at the current rate – will it be the last time.”
The Syrian Network for Human Rights has recorded at least 222 chemical attacks in Syria since 2012.
While many parties hold Syrian President Bashar Assad responsible for using toxic gas against his people, “Tribunal courts have not been able to hold him accountable,” Samuel says.
“Even if they did raise a case in The Hague, he (Assad) would still have to be captured. And, in my humble opinion, he’s never going to release or relinquish his throne.”
Nonetheless, hope remains. “When that (attack) occurred, it caused a mass internal migration, and many IDPs were moved into Christian communities,” Samuel says.
“The Christians began to care for them. They were responding with love to their neighbors, and in doing so, God has done some exciting, amazing things. People are coming to faith, and churches are being established.”
Pray God will have mercy on Syria and sustain His followers.
“People are just desperate and suffering; most of the country still only survives with about four hours of electricity per day,” Samuel says.
Life is a daily struggle, to say the least, in “ongoing, oppressive heat; temperatures are well over 100 degrees, all the way up to 110 degrees Fahrenheit.”
Header image depicts Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi with Syrian President Bashir Assad. (Wikimedia Commons)