#Breathless: Chemical Warfare from Ypres to al-Ghouta

23. April 2015, von Administrator

On this day, 100 years ago, the fields of Ypres, Belgium, witnessed the first use of chemical weapons in modern times. A mutation in the nature of war into terrible new lows of barbarity and gruesomeness. Today, as the world commemorates the victims of chemical weapons, Syrians ring a reminder that these silent mass murders are hardly behind us. Indeed, only last month, Syrian towns in the Idlib governorate were subjected to this horror.

Survivors from al-Ghouta’s chemical attacks, along with their comrades in Halabja, Iraq, spoke in one voice about their suffocating experiences. The #Breathless campaign was launched with an open letter signed by those who had witnessed first-hand the horrors of chemical weapons at the hands of the Syrian and Iraqi regimes:

We, survivors of chemical attacks from different countries, ethnicity and belief, know with whom the responsibility lies for the chemical attacks we have witnessed. It primarily lies with the ruthless regimes that drop these bombs on us; the same regimes that taught us for decades that we were enemies. Now we — Arabs and Kurds, people from Syria, Iraq, Iran and Kurdistan — sign this letter together knowing that our only enemies are those who do not hesitate to gas us.

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