Syrian human rights activists are saying that at least 40 people have died after Syria used poison gas on rebel positions in Douma outside of Damascus. Most of the dead are women and children.
The injuries included difficulty breathing, foaming at the mouth, and burning of the eyes, according to the organization. It said patients gave off a chlorine-like smell and some had blue skin, a sign of oxygen deprivation.
The alleged attack occurred amid a resumed offensive by Syrian government forces after the collapse of a truce. The Russian-backed Syrian government denied that its forces had launched any chemical attack, Reuters reported. The government said rebels in Douma were in a state of collapse and spreading false news.
None of the reports could be immediately independently confirmed, both the Associated Press and Reuters said.
President Trump said on Twitter that the Syrian Army needs to open the area “immediately” for medical help and verification.
The president’s tweet also described Assad as an “animal” and called out Russian President Vladimir Putin by name:
Many dead, including women and children, in mindless CHEMICAL attack in Syria. Area of atrocity is in lockdown and encircled by Syrian Army, making it completely inaccessible to outside world. President Putin, Russia and Iran are responsible for backing Animal Assad. Big price…
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 8, 2018
The Syrian Network for Human Rights described the attack in a statement:
On April 7, 2018, Syrian regime forces carried out two air chemical attacks in northern Douma city within three hours. The first attack was at 16:00 near Sa’da bakery building in Omar ben al Khattab Street that resulted in 15 injuries. The second attack took place at approximately 19:30 near al Shuhada Square in Nu’man area and resulted in the killing of no less than 55 individuals, while 860 civilians were injured at least. Some paramedics and civil defense members reported severe symptoms on the injured, as all of the people who were affected suffered from acute dyspnea, while some suffered from conjunctivitis and miosis.
Four separate investigations into these chemical attacks have been conducted since 2013 and all have pointed the finger directly at Syrian forces. Syria and Russia keep insisting that any chemical attacks have been carried out by rebels on their own people, but the facts belie that assertion.
You will recall that President Obama established a “red line” on chemical weapons use by Syria, threatening military action if they crossed it. Obama was saved from the embarrassment of being forced to back down on that threat when Russia stepped in and said they would take possession of all Syrian chemical weapons.
Guess they missed a few.
Obama tried to sell the Russian intervention as some sort of victory. Tell that to the women and kids in Douma who died horrible deaths as a result of Obama’s betrayal.