This week a chemical attack killed more than 80 people and injured hundreds in Idlib, Syria. Lots of the victims, including many children, were poisoned as they slept in their beds.

Using chemical weapons is a war crime. Russian and Syrian authorities say they are not responsible. The UN must investigate this gruesome attack now and bring the perpetrators to justice.

Demand justice for victims of Syria chemical attack

The attack

‘The smell reached us here in the centre; it smelled like rotten food. We've received victims of chlorine attacks before - this was completely different. Victims had vomit from the nose and mouth, a dark yellow colour, sometimes turning to brown. Paralysis in respiratory functions - children were dying faster than adults because of this.’

A nurse describes the aftermath of the attack

On Tuesday 4 April, a chemical attack targeted the city of Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib, Syria, killing more than 80 people and injuring hundreds more.

One piece of footage, which is consistent with other available evidence, shows nine children lying lifeless in the back of a pick-up truck. The children are naked or partially dressed; they appear to have died in their beds.

Our evidence shows that it’s likely that the children were killed by a nerve agent, or an organophosphorus compound, such as Sarin, rather than chlorine gas, as in previous chemical attacks in the Syrian conflict.

Working from video footage shot in the immediate aftermath of the attack, experts have observed symptoms consistent with nerve gas poisoning.

'Children were the first ones to die, they cannot fight this back'

We interviewed a doctor working at the specialised surgery hospital, some 30 miles away from the site of the attack.

'Victims reached us in different states - some had muscular and respiratory paralysis, which we tried treating with tranquilisers and Atropine. They had secretions from the mouth and nose that were white. Some were completely unconscious. Some had severe muscular pain. Children are the first ones to die, they cannot fight this back. We only had one child who, thank God, survived.'

Although Russian and Syrian authorities say they are not responsible, an investigation must take place to identify perpetrators and bring them to justice.

Since 2013, several chemical attacks on civilians have been carried out by Syrian government forces and armed groups - yet nobody has been brought to justice.

They are getting away with it, without punishment.

The conflict in Syria has caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands and led millions of people – more than half the population - to flee their homes, either abroad or within Syria.

Today, the people responsible for these atrocities remain out of the reach of justice, and civilians continue to suffer every day.

US airstrikes

The United States launched airstrikes on a Syrian army airbase in Homs, three days after the chemical weapons attack on Idlib.

We're calling for US forces to adhere to international humanitarian law and take all possible measures to protect the civilian population when carrying out military action

There must not be a repeat of the recent coalition airstrikes in Iraq and Syria, which killed hundreds of civilians, many of whom were women and children trapped inside their houses.

What needs to happen now?

It’s time to deliver justice and reparation for victims and their families. It’s time to ensure that war crimes and crimes against humanity do not go unpunished.

Demand the UN investigates these attacks immediately and pushes for prosecutions.

Without justice and accountability, attacks like yesterday’s risk being repeated.