Chemical Attack Kills Dozens In Syria; US Blames Assad Regime

[Syrian Journalist Hadi al-Abdallah stands amid the rubble. | Source: YouTube/Hadi al-Abdallah]
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March 4th marked a catastrophic day for northern Syria—chemical weapons of mass destruction. According to Britain’s Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the rebel-controlled town of Khan Sheikhous endured 58 deaths (possibly more)—11 were kids. Medical facilities were flooded with survivors who suffered deadly-gas-related symptoms including convulsing and respiratory problems. Many claim Russian and Syrian-government Sukhoi aircrafts caused this brutal incident.

Trump’s administration holds Syria’s government responsible, as a “great, moral responsibility” falls on Russia and Iran—so many dead.

[Video: courtesy of BBC News]

Piles of dead children alone are proof of this beyond-disturbing incident—not unlike 2013’s chemical bombing killing hundreds in Syria’s genocidal civil war (for six years)!

Along with other, angered, international heads, President Trump feels the bombing was a “heinous” act and “cannot be ignored by the civilized world.” As a result, the UN Security Council held an emergency conference March 5th to assess the attack. Interestingly, the incident went down only one day before a crucial Brussels-hosted international donors’ forum entailing Syria’s fate.

President Trump added Obama should share the blame for his “weakness” in not making a sincere effort to retaliate in 2013. “These heinous actions by the Bashar al-Assad regime are a consequence of the past administration’s weakness and irresolution,” Trump stated. “President Obama said in 2012 that he would establish a ‘red line’ against the use of chemical weapons and then did nothing. The United States stands with our allies across the globe to condemn this intolerable attack.”

The president handed the situation over to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to assess Russia and Iran (Assad allies). Tillerson demanded said nations take advantage of their influential status with Assad in order to implement preventative measures that would ultimately end further chemical warfare on innocent lives. He stressed Russia and Syria should facilitate a military halt via diplomatic efforts in Astana. “As the self-proclaimed guarantors to the cease-fire negotiated in Astana, Russia and Iran also bear great moral responsibility for these deaths,” Tillerson said.

[Twenty-nine-year-old Sabdul-Hamid Alyousef cradles his deceased children killed in the attack on Khan Sheikhoun | April 4th, 2017 | Photo: Mohamed Al-Bakour/AFT Getty]
Syria’s government released a statement with it “categorically reject[ing]” any involvement in the incident and argued there are no chemical weapons in their weapons inventory. Syrian officials claimed they’ve never utilized such methods, now will they ever. They throw responsibility at the rebels, with a claim of these activists constructing a misleading death-filled plan to portray Syria’s government as murderers.

According to Russia’s Defense Ministry, a Syrian air strike hit a chemical-weapons dump, which exploded upon the hit and spread to Khan Sheikhoun. Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov explained that Russian-operated informants noted the raid on a weapons facility at the far-eastern edge of town. Konashenkov explained it was also learned this station made chemical weapons highly resembling those found in Iraq.

[Syrian doctors working hard to treat a child while in a makeshift hospital. | Photo: Syrian anti-government-activist-group Edlib Media Center via AP]
Activist-operated Assi Press released footage of EMTs holding survivors wearing nothing but undergarments—the majority seemingly next to dead. Currently, it’s still a mystery to whether or not the deaths were a result of gas-related suffocation or additional, simultaneous air raids.

This incident makes the third, Syrian, chemical bombing in less than 10 days! The priors occurred in Hama province—close to Khan Sheikhoun. Idlib-based anti-terror activists and a doctor assessed that 2013’s sarin-gas bombing of Damascus-suburb Ghouta’s about the only thing comparable to what transpired in the town as of late.

Upon enduring global hate, Assad concurred to a Russia-facilitated operation entailing the destruction of all his chemical weapons—1,300-ton stockpile of chemical arms and unofficially named “precursor chemicals” crucial to assembly.

However, according to those of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, Assad might not have submitted his complete inventory of chemical arms in 2013—nobody said anything about chlorine (easily obtainable). More, local activists claim to own footage of chlorine-gas attacks, which occurred after Assad’s supposed submission.

[Child awaiting treatment upon the suspected chlorine-infused attack | Photo: Bahjat Najar/Anadolu Agency]
Nonetheless, Syria stands by its claim of having no chemical weapons or chlorine gas. They insist it was the rebels.

Pulmonologist Dr. AbdulHaj Tennari treated many survivors and concluded the severity went beyond chlorine. Additionally, he said his team is short on supplies—even the much-needed antidote (Pralidoxem). However, he added many victims dying en route to medical facilities. “If they got to the hospital, we can treat them. Two children who took a while before they were lifted out of the rubble died,” Dr. Tennari explained in a Skype interview.

A radiologist and brother to AbdulHaj, Dr. Mohammed Tennari said this attack was the worst one yet—the majority of the weapons possessed chlorine cylinders. “Honestly, we have not seen this before. The previous times, the wounds were less severe,” Radiologist Tennari explained. Brother Tennari was the doctor who spoke at the 2015 UN conference and informed them of Syria’s chemical warfare—even though Assad supposedly dumped them all. Brother Tennari said a chlorine odor was detected upon the bombing, but the fumes had a mysterious, “toxic gas which causes poison and death.”

Media-activist Mohammed Hassoun, who has seen the more intense patients taken to Sarmin, said that town’s doctors concur on the gas-component theory. “Chlorine gas doesn’t cause such convulsions,” he said. Doctors suspect sarin to be the secondary gas. “There are 18, critical cases here. They were unconscious; they had seizures, and when oxygen was administered, they bled from the nose and mouth,” Hassoun explained in an interview.

Geneva-based World Health Organization spokesman Tarik Jasarevic sent an email entailing WHO still assessing March 4th’s incident. Even the Syrian-American Medical Society, which aids medical facilities in rebel-controlled areas, has their people digging through Khan Sheikhoun to find answers. It is with great hope the answers will be found and dealt with upon this critical moment in Syria.


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