Chemical attack kills dozens in Syria..Assad blamed
A chemical weapons attack in an opposition-held town in northern Syria has killed dozens of people, leaving residents gasping for breath and convulsing in the streets and overcrowded hospitals.
The Trump administration has blamed the Syrian government for the attack, one of the deadliest in years, and said Syria’s patrons, Russia and Iran, bore “great moral responsibility” for the deaths.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 58 people died, including 11 children, in the early morning attack in the town of Khan Sheikhoun, which witnesses said was carried out by Sukhoi jets operated by the Russian and Syrian governments.
Videos from the scene showed volunteer medics using fire hoses to wash the chemicals from victims’ bodies. Haunting images of lifeless children piled in heaps reflected the magnitude of the attack, which was reminiscent of a 2013 chemical assault that left hundreds dead and was the worst in the country’s ruinous six-year civil war.
Tuesday’s attack drew swift condemnation from world leaders, including President Donald Trump, who denounced it as a “heinous” act that “cannot be ignored by the civilised world”. The UN Security Council scheduled an emergency meeting for Wednesday in response to the strike, which came on the eve of a major international donors’ conference in Brussels on the future of Syria and the region.
In a statement, Trump also blamed former President Barack Obama for “weakness” in failing to respond aggressively after the 2013 attack.
“These heinous actions by the Bashar al-Assad regime are a consequence of the past administration’s weakness and irresolution,” Trump said.
“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.”
Photos and video emerging from Khan Sheikhoun, located south of the provincial capital of Idlib, showed the limp bodies of children and adults. Some were struggling to breathe; others appeared to be foaming at the mouth.
The activist-run Assi Press published video of paramedics carrying victims, stripped down to their underwear and many appearing unresponsive, from the scene in pickup trucks.
It was not immediately clear if all those killed died from suffocation or were struck by other airstrikes that occurred in the area around the same time.
It was the third claim of a chemical attack in just over a week in Syria. The previous two were reported in Hama province, in an area not far from Khan Sheikhoun.
The Syrian Air Force has destroyed a warehouse in Idlib province, where ammunition dump containing chemical weapons was being produced by militants before being delivered to Iraq, the Russian Defense Ministry spokesman has said.
The strike, which was launched midday Tuesday, targeted a major rebel ammunition depot east of the town of Khan Sheikhoun, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Major-General Igor Konashenkov said in a statement.
The warehouse was used to both produce and store shells containing toxic gas, Konashenkov said. The shells were delivered to Iraq and repeatedly used there, he added, pointing out that both Iraq and international organizations have confirmed the use of such weapons by militants.
read my tweet above..why would assad do anything now?
he wouldnt..he has no need to..but with a global conference on syria starting today it is all about timing..
trump jumps on the mainstream train will all guns blazing..
real people have died..real horror has occurred..i just dont believe the narrative..we have seen it all before..and didnt assad give up all of his chemical weapons over 3 years ago?