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Syria: Death toll from suspected chemical attack rises to over 70

9th Apr 2018
Syria: Death toll from suspected chemical attack rises to over 70

By Adham Kako, Mohamad Misto and Mahmut Geldi

 

EASTERN GHOUTA, Syria / ANKARA, Turkey (AA): The civilian death toll rose to 78 from Saturday’s suspected chemical attack by allegedly by the Syrian Government in Douma, a district in Eastern Ghouta, local doctors said on Sunday. There has been no independent confirmation of the suspected chemical attack.

Meanwhile, according to Syrian news agency, SANA, T-4 airfield in the desert east of the city of Homs was attacked by missiles in the early hours of Monday. It said the airfield was targeted with several missiles and that Syrian air defence was responding, and had shot down eight incoming missiles. State TV said the attack was “most likely” American, a claim the Pentagon has denied.

Suleman Kakeh and Ayman Arbash, two doctors in the Damascus suburb, confirmed the fatalities in a report exclusively available with Anadolu Agency.

Footage from the region shows many civilians are not bleeding but are foaming at the mouth and nose.

Syria Civil Defense, also known as the controversial White Helmets, said 70 civilians had been killed in the attack by the Government forces in which toxic gas was used.

According to journalists visiting farmlands around Eastern Ghouta between Shifouniyeh and Douma last month, recaptured by the Syrian Arab Army, discovered a well-equipped suspected chemical laboratory run by the rebels.

“Upper rooms packed with electronic hardware, basements outfitted with large boilers, shelves filled with chemical substances, corners heaving with blue and black canisters (reportedly containing chlorine), chemistry charts, books, beakers, vials, test tubes and all the paraphernalia familiar to the average student of science. And then, in several corners, piles of pipe-shaped projectiles – clear munitions of some sort,” said one of the Lebanese journalists, Sharmine Narwani.

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) condemned the latest attack calling it a violation of international law.

Yousef bin Ahmed Al-Othaimeen, the OIC secretary general said: “I condemn Bashar al-Assad’s attacks on defenseless civilians.”

Saudi Arabian Foreign Ministry said the international community should step up to protect Syrian civilians.

The EU said that evidence in Douma pointed out the Syrian Government was responsible for the attack.

The missile strikes against the air base resulted in a number of “dead and wounded”, according to SANA.

Video footage on social media in Lebanon showed aircraft or missiles flying low over the country, apparently heading east towards Syria.

According to the pan-Arab TV channel Al-Mayadeen, an Israeli surveillance plane was spotted over the base in Homs at the moment of the rocket strike.

“An Israeli reconnaissance plane was overflying the T-4 airbase in Homs struck by missiles,” the broadcaster reported, citing sources.

It has also reported that the missiles were coming from the Mediterranean Sea through Lebanon. At the same time, Israel, which bombed the same base in February, has abstained from commenting on the incident.

Additional report by The Muslim News and agencies

[Photo: Syrian children receive medical treatment after suspected poisonous gas attack on Douma town of Eastern Ghouta in Damascus, Syria on April 07, 2018. Photographs by WHITE HELMETS / HANDOUT/AA]

 

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