Worst Chemical Attack in Years in Syria; U.S. Blames Assad

Worst Chemical Attack in Years in Syria; U.S. Blames Assad                                                                          

Worst Chemical Attack in Years in Syria; U.S. Blames Assad

One of the worst chemical bombings in Syria on Tuesday turned a northern area of ​​the rebels into a toxic extermination zone, prompting international outrage over the growing impunity of the government shown in the country’s six-year war.

Western leaders, including President Trump, blamed the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad and called on their sponsors, Russia and Iran, to avoid repeating what many described as a war crime.

According to witnesses, doctors and rescue workers, dozens of people, including children, died – some of them twisted, drowned, gasped or foamed in their mouths – after inhaling poison that might have contained a nerve agent or other prohibited chemicals. They said the toxic substance spread after fighter jets dropped bombs in the early hours of the morning. Some rescue workers became ill and collapsed from proximity to the dead.

The Department of Health in Idlib province, where the attack occurred, said 69 people had died, providing a list of their names. The dead were still being identified, and some humanitarian groups said about 100 had died.

Mr. Assad’s government, which relinquished chemical weapons almost four years ago after a major chemical attack by US intelligence agencies concluded that it was carried out by its forces, denied that its army was responsible, as it has done Every time chemical munitions have been used in Syria.                                                                                              

Worst Chemical Attack in Years in Syria; U.S. Blames Assad

 

A statement from the Syrian army accused the insurgents of responsibility and said they had accused the army of using toxic weapons “whenever they fail to achieve the objectives of their sponsors.”

But only the Syrian army had the capacity and the motive to carry out an air attack like the one that hit the city of Khan Sheikhoun, controlled by the rebels.

Russia offered another explanation. A spokesman for his Defense Ministry, Major General Igor Konashenkov, said Syrian fighter jets had hit an insurgent warehouse containing toxic substances to be used in chemical weapons.

Witnesses said the attack began before 7 am. Numerous graphic photographs and videos posted online by activists and residents showed children and older adults panting and struggling to breathe, or lying motionless in the mud as rescuers ripped off victims’ clothes and swaddled them. The bodies of at least 10 children were lined up on the floor or under a duvet.

A few hours later, according to several witnesses, another air strike struck one of the clinics that treated the victims, who had been sent to smaller hospitals and maternity wards because the largest hospital in the area was severely damaged by an air strike two days before.

The scale and boldness of the aggression threatened to subvert a nominal and often violated cease-fire that had gripped parts of the country since Assad’s forces re-occupied the city of Aleppo in December with the help of Russia, emboldening the leader Syrian I think I could win the war.                                                                                                            The attack also seemed likely to curb the peace talks that have been monitored by the United Nations in Geneva and by Russia and Turkey in Astana, Kazakhstan.                                                                                                                                    

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