Syria, more chemical weapons?

Photo credits: www.wired.com

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, dozens of people were killed or injured in the bombing of the night of the Syrian army in the area of Ghouta, near Damascus. “Hundreds of martyrs and wounded, including women and children, are the result of the barbaric use of lethal gas by the criminal regime in the eastern city of Ghouta” denounces the Local Coordination Committees of Syria. The death toll is at least 635 people.

In western Ghouta air forces bombed parts of the city of Moùadamiya. The alleged use of chemical weapons by the loyalists has not, for the moment, been confirmed by independent sources. The news coincides, however, with the presence in Damascus of UN inspectors in charge of a mission, which will last 14 days, to verify the use of chemical weapons in the areas most affected by the conflict. The indictment, according to the opinion of a government source, would not find foundation. This would be, according to the source, a  “media war” by the people who “think in stupidly.” “How can they make use of chemical weapons in the presence of UN inspectors?” the source added.

The inspectors, who arrived on Sunday, must ascertain the possible use of chemical agents in three locations: one where the regime accuses the rebels of having used them, and the other two where loyalists are being accused. The movements and activities of the team of inspectors, led by the Swedish Ake Sellstrom, are being kept secret. It is not known where the experts of the United Nations are at this time, but the National Observatory for Human Rights in Syria NGO has appealed to them and to the Red Cross to “go immediately in the areas devastated by bombs to verify this information “and” to bring medical care and assistance to people who need them”.

“The massive attack launched yesterday morning by the Syrian army against the rebels in various suburbs around Damascus has been the biggest since the conflict began two years ago” said a military source, rejecting accusations by the opposition to have used chemical weapons. “We are making great progress in Jobar, Zamalka, Ghouta and Muadamieh” and “the army will give good news soon when the people will have’ eliminated these jihadists,” the source said, adding that “the operation is just at beginning. ”

Eyewitnesses said that the attack began around 07:00 local time with aerial bombing and rocket fire. One person said he had counted seven government air raids on the suburbs of the capital.

Erika Sciarra.

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