Region | Egypt

Syria ‘toxic gas attack kills 1,300’

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

  • Agencies
  • Published: 20:44 August 21, 2013
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: AP
  • Relatives and activists inspect the bodies of people they say were killed by nerve gas in the Ghouta region, in the Duma neighbourhood of Damascus August 21, 2013.
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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.

Comments (9)

  1. Added 17:00 August 22, 2013

    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.

    Ahmed Saleem, Deira, United Arab Emirates

  2. Added 16:43 August 22, 2013

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

    Mohammed, Dubai, Burundi

  3. Added 15:12 August 22, 2013

    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.

    prakash, dubai, United Arab Emirates

  4. Added 14:34 August 22, 2013

    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..

    MALLECK, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  5. Added 13:30 August 22, 2013

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

    Imran, London, United Kingdom

  6. Added 13:13 August 22, 2013

    oh my God.. please save the children

    Leah, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  7. Added 13:01 August 22, 2013

    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.

    Abdul wadood, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  8. Added 11:36 August 22, 2013

    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 ,Water and Protection,why cant we have that and live peacefully?

    arun, dubai, United Arab Emirates

  9. Added 10:18 August 22, 2013

    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.

    Riswan Mohammad, Ajman, India

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