Syria: Dozens killed in apparent chemical attack

9 April 2018

Syria: Dozens killed in apparent chemical attack

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At least 70 have been killed by what observers claim was a Government-sanctioned chemical attack on Douma, the last rebel stronghold near Syria’s capital, Damascus.

Syrian Government forces and their allies executed an intense air and ground offensive on the area on Friday in response to alleged rebel shelling on residential areas of Damascus.

White Helmets, a civil defence group operating predominantly in Syria, told Al Jazeera the majority of the chemical attack victims are women and children.

The organisation’s head, Raed al-Saleh said, “White Helmet volunteers are trying to help the people but all that we can do is evacuate them to another area by foot because most of the vehicles and centres went out of service.”

Observers say the Syrian Government orchestrated the attack, which is believed to have involved chlorine and an unidentified second chemical.

In a series of tweets, US President Donald Trump condemned the attack and took aim at Russia and Iran for supporting the Assad regime, warning there is a “big a price to pay”.

Both the Syrian Government and Russia have denied the allegations, calling them “fabrication”.

The Russian Foreign Ministry warned against “military intervention¬†under far-fetched and fabricated pretexts”.

The European Union have condemned the attack and called for “an immediate response by the international community.”