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Washington demonstrators mark anniversary of Syrian chemical weapons attack

President Bashar Assad’s regime launched the deadliest chemical weapons attack recorded in decades, killing more than 1,000 Syrians The regime of President Bashar Al-Assad launched an indiscriminate chemical attack on the Eastern Gouta neighborhood that resulted in the deaths of more than 1,000 people. It was the deadliest chemical attack recorded in decades. Thursday’s protesters demonstrated again Assad and the brutality of the Syrian regime’s killing of more than 160,000 people in three years of civil war that has displaced half of the Syrian population.  Protesters carried a long scarf that bore the names of the victims that were recited during the commemoration. The group also constructed a mock graveyard where chemical danger signs were placed on gravestones. Included in the graveyard was American journalist James Foley who was beheaded by Islamic State militants. Some of the demonstrators also carried banners criticizing U.S. President Barack Obama. During a daily briefing, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf acknowledged the anniversary of the attack. 

"The haunting images of unspeakable human suffering on that day and throughout every other day of this tragic conflict remind the international community that Assad long ago forfeited his legitimacy to lead the Syrian people," she said.

Harf also noted that despite the removal of declared chemicals from the war-torn country a number of critical issues still remain to be resolved "including discrepancies and omissions related to Syria’s chemical weapons declaration to the OPCW (Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons).

"These and our other concerns must be fully resolved," she said.

The U.N. Security Council decided in last September to eliminate Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal, in a move backed by Russia and China, to avoid U.S. airstrikes against Assad.

In a report published Aug. 14, the OPCW, which heads the mission to remove chemical weapons from Syria, along with the U.N., said that 84 percent of Syria’s declared chemical weapons total of 1,301.3 metric tonnes were destroyed.

Earlier this week, the U.S. declared that it had completed its part as the American Maritime Vessel Cape Ray has destroyed 600 metric tones of the weapons.

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