A toxic gas attack on Tuesday in Syria’s northern Idlib province resulted in killing dozens of people and sickened several more. Syrian opposition activists have described this attack as one of the worst in the six years of country’s civil war. According to medics, the government delivered the gas by an air strike. Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has put the death toll at 58 as of now with 11 children among dead.
The media center published footage showing people stretched on the ground, some foaming and a state of panic. In one footage, the medical workers are seen trying to intubate a man lying unresponsive and hooking up a girl to the ventilator who is seen foaming at the mouth.
A few hours later, another airstrike is said to have hit the clinics treating victims. Several witnesses have spoken of this incidence in the same tone. Victims have been farmed out to maternity wards and other smaller hospitals because the largest hospital in the area was severely damaged by an airstrike two days earlier.
The government didn’t make any comment in Damascus while the European Union President Erdogan of Turkey blamed the Syrian government for the attack after condemning the attack. An emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council has been called by France.
According to the medical workers and witnesses, chlorine attacks have become routine in northern Syria but they claimed that this one was different. Usually, chlorine attacks kill those trapped in an enclosed space and are limited to few people but this time people collapsed in large numbers outdoors right after the attack. Several people have been reported to be sick just by coming in contact with the victims.
This attack appears to be the most toxic and largest chemical attack in Syria since August 2013, when more than a thousand deaths were reported in Damascus. These reports come on the eve of a major international meeting in Brussels discussing the future of Syria and the region, being hosted by the EU’s High Representative Federica Mogherini.
“Today’s chemical attack was a direct insult to the #EU,” said Fadi Halisso, a Syrian former priest who runs Basmeh and Zeitooneh, a humanitarian organization that aids Syrian and Palestinian refugees said in a Twitter post. “Assad is telling them you will pay and I will continue killing,” he added from Brussels, where he was attending the meeting. “You can do nothing.”
As of now, there is no information from the side of Syrian activists about agent could have been used in the attack. They have been claiming that this attack was caused by an airstrike carried out either by the Russian warplanes or the Syrian government.
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