Open letter to MPs from the National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces:
Dear Members of Parliament,
Syria is living through the third year of a conflict that has killed over 100,000 people and driven about six million from their homes. During that time, the scale of the killing has intensified, the conflict has spread to neighbouring countries, and extremists - who were sidelined by our initial uprising against the regime - have established and expanded their presence.
The poison gas attack on August 21 was not the first time the regime has used grotesque force against civilians. Since the start of this conflict, it has resorted to tanks, mortars, warplanes and ballistic missiles to kill people demanding accountable and competent government. Clearly the approach of the past two-and-a-half years has not subdued the violence or lessened the human suffering. In reality, it has given the Assad regime a green light to escalate.
President Obama's warning did not dissuade the regime from using chemical weapons. Assad also failed to heed the advice of Russia and China, two key supporters. It is clear from the regime's past actions that it will only continue and escalate its violations if it is not stopped.
We understand the UN, under pressure from the regime's supporters, will not be able to declare who is responsible for the attacks. The regime cannot be allowed to destroy millions of lives, encourage sectarianism and extremism and risk regional conflict because it has powerful friends.
Our priority is to prevent the regime from using chemical weapons again and to hold those who have committed a war crime accountable for their actions. We are not asking for regime change, or for British troops to fight our war for us.
We seek ultimately to give Syria what it deserves; a representative government that works for stability and prosperity for all. To get there, the Assad regime has to be made to understand that it cannot guarantee its survival by killing people making legitimate demands.
We call upon you to send a message to the regime that it cannot gas sleeping children with impunity.
National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces