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Rescue Workers Accuse Regime Forces of Gas Attack in Syria’s Ghouta

Rescue Workers Accuse Regime Forces of Gas Attack in Syria’s Ghouta

Monday, 22 January, 2018 - 12:15
A man is seen at a medical center in Douma, Eastern Ghouta in Damascus, Syria January 22, 2018. (Reuters)

Rescue workers accused on Monday the Syrian regime of carrying out a gas attack during its bombardment of the Eastern Ghouta enclave near the capital Damascus, leaving at least ten suffering from suffocation.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 13 people had suffered suffocation from a Chlorine gas attack on Monday.

The Observatory said a gas was also used during a rocket attack last week on the enclave.

A witness in the area said people had fled the area of the attack and were receiving treatment for breathing problems at medical centers.

The Syrian regime consistently denied using chlorine or other chemical weapons during Syria’s conflict, now in its seventh year.

The White Helmets civil defense rescue force, which operates in rebel-held parts of Syria, said 20 civilians including women and children had been “injured after (the) Assad regime used Chlorine gas in Douma city in Eastern Ghouta”.

Activists said a foul smell followed a series of bombings that hit the Douma neighborhood. The health directorate for opposition-held areas in the Damascus region said patients remarked the smell around the attack site resembled chlorine.

Douma is in the eastern Ghouta, a suburb east of Damascus where almost 400,000 people have been under siege by the Syrian regime and allied militia since 2013. Eastern Ghouta is the last major rebel position close to the capital.

The health directorate said patient symptoms “suggest they have been exposed to chlorine gas inhalation”.

The Britain-based Observatory, quoting local medical and other sources, said “gasses” released during a dawn rocket attack on Douma city caused “cases of suffocation”.

In the past two years, a joint UN and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) inquiry has found the Syrian regime used the nerve agent sarin and has also several times used chlorine as a weapon.

It has also said ISIS has used sulfur mustard.

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