Syria ‘toxic gas attack kills 1,300’

Al Assad regime denies involvement while Russia calls it a ‘provocation’

  • Relatives and activists inspect the bodies of people they say were killed by nerve gas in the Ghouta region, iImage Credit: AP
  • Relatives and activists inspect the bodies of people they say were killed by nerve gas in the Ghouta region, iImage Credit: AP
  • A man sits in a hospital near two children who activists say were affected by nerve gas in the Ghouta region, Image Credit: REUTERS
09 Gulf News

Beirut: Syrian regime forces fired intense artillery and rocket barrages on Wednesday on the eastern suburbs of Damascus amid a fierce government offensive in what two pro-opposition groups claimed was a “toxic gas” attack that killed at least 1,300 people, including many children.

A 20-member UN chemical weapons team is currently in Syria to investigate three sites where chemical weapons attacks allegedly occurred over the past year.

Russia called Syrian opposition claims a “premeditated provocation.”  The foreign ministry stressed that the reports were issued just as a UN chemical weapons inspection team had arrived in Syria and noted that “this makes us think that we are once again dealing with a premeditated provocation.”

The heavy shelling early yesterday pounded the capital’s eastern suburbs of Zamalka, Arbeen and Ain Tarma, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group. Syria officially denied the attack.

Mohammad Saeed, an activist in the area, told The Associated Press via Skype that hundreds of dead and injured people were rushed to six makeshift hospitals in the eastern suburbs of Damascus. “This is a massacre by chemical weapons,” said Saeed.

“The visit by the UN team is a joke ... Bashar is using the weapons and telling the world that he does not care.” An amateur video showed four children on the floor of a makeshift hospital, appearing to be unconscious as a doctor is seen giving them some sort of shots.

Most serious

A bit later, a child starts shaking slowly. “Is this baby girl a terrorist,” a man could be heard saying. “God willing, we will bring his regime down. He (Al Assad) is killing Sunni children in front of the whole world.”

The claim of the chemical attack, if confirmed, would be the most serious since the March 19 incident in Khan Al Assal when at least 30 people were killed. Al Assad’s regime and the rebels have blamed each other for that attack. Unrest in Syria began in March 2011. More than 100,000 people have been killed in the conflict.


  • Ahmed Saleem

    Aug 22, 2013 5:00

    Hey Bashar al-Assad, without your people whom you are going to rule? without your country, where you are going to rule? Your end is soon....wait for that day.

  • Mohammed

    Aug 22, 2013 4:43

    Why would UN help the people ... the whole stage was set by UN ..

  • prakash

    Aug 22, 2013 3:12

    Oh my God. This is not good. Every one human being. Please help innocent people . I even can not see the pictuers. Please protect innocent people. This fight for what? We all should keep this creator's world peacefull and happly.


    Aug 22, 2013 2:34

    Ya ALLAH pls help us MUSLIMS, pls help us to understand good and wrong, pls help us to understand our freinds and enemies, pls help us to get rid us from greediness of power and wealth. Pls ALLAH forgive us..... pls UNIT us..

  • Imran

    Aug 22, 2013 1:30

    Ya Allah rahema ...Ya help those innocent people.. Ya Allah forgive us ..

  • Leah

    Aug 22, 2013 1:13

    oh my God.. please save the children

  • Abdul wadood

    Aug 22, 2013 1:01

    Why United Nation does not take some action against these crimes? Insha Allah these cruel people have to face Allah's punishment one day.killing innocent people are not ordinary crimes.

  • arun

    Aug 22, 2013 11:36

    its a tragedy, humans are killing humans for what for a piece of land for chair of power,Gods creations killing each other ,killing the innocent for what purpose? I Can't even look at the picture of that small child murdered by monsters-So sad Every body needs 3 basic things Food ,Waterand Protection,why cant we have that and live peacefully?

  • Riswan Mohammad

    Aug 22, 2013 10:18

    Avoodhubillah ! Ya Allaah! Save Muslims in syria and Egypt. Ya Allah! Forgive All ! Ya Allah, no one will help us, You are the the only guardian for us.