Over 70 killed and 500 injured in a suspected regime-backed gas attack in the last rebel held pocket of Douma. The United States, Turkey and the EU condemn the attacks
Bangalore, March 09, 2018: Fierce airstrikes and a suspected chemical gas attack allegedly by the Syrian regime on the last rebel bastion in the Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta was has claimed the lives of over 70 residents and injured 500.
The Syrian Regime Forces, allegedly, dropped a barrel bomb containing poisonous chemicals in Eastern Ghouta’s Douma on Saturday which was then followed by airstrikes.
The Syrian Government, however, has denied their role in the chemical attack and has accused rebel groups, including Jaish-e-Islam, of spreading ‘false news’.
The Syrian Civil Defense, The White Helmets was the first to respond to the attacks in Douma. In a statement released by the White Helmets they state that Douma has come under severe attacks following days of a peace truce.
“The attacks included the systematic targeting of medical centers and civil defense teams, heavily paralyzing the medical capacity of the city due to the destruction of the majority of the civil defense centers and a large number of ambulances and rescue vehicles, leaving them completely out of service,” they said.
The group also reported that most of the gas attack victims were women and children who were hospitalized with symptoms like respiratory diseases, central cyanosis, excessive oral foaming, corneal burns and emission of chlorine-like odour. They added that these are symptoms which imply that the citizens were exposed toxic chemicals.
The chemical attack was severely condemned by the United States, the European Union and Turkey. American President Donald Trump, took to Twitter, and said, “Many dead, including women and children, in mindless CHEMICAL attack in Syria. Area of atrocity is in lockdown and encircled by the Syrian Army, making it completely inaccessible to the outside world. President Putin, Russia and Iran are responsible for backing Animal Assad. Big price to pay. Open area immediately for medical help and verification. Another humanitarian disaster for no reason whatsoever. SICK.”
Trump did not stop at this and blamed the Obama administration for not doing enough to stop the war in Syria. He added, “If President Obama had crossed his stated Red Line in the sand, the Syrian disaster would have ended long ago. Animal Assad would have been history.”
These tweets were marked particularly important because this is the first time Trump has explicitly named Russian President, Vladimir Putin, for his role in the Syrian war.
The Turkish Foreign Ministry, meanwhile, released a statement condemning the attack and urged the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to investigate the case. The European Union called for Russia and Iran to use their influence and prevent any further attack. They also added that the Union remains mobilized to fight against any use of chemical weapons and to make sure that those responsible are held accountable.
The attack comes one year after the deadly Sarin attack in Khan Sheikhoun, where more than 100 civilians died.