Photo from Ukrinform
A chemical attack on a rebel-held town in eastern Ghouta has killed dozens of people.
A joint statement by the medical relief organisation, Syrian American Medical Society and the Civil Defense Service, which operates in rebel-held areas, said that 49 people had died in the attack late on Saturday. Others put the toll at 150 or more.
The pro-opposition Ghouta Media Center tweeted that more than 75 people had suffocated, while a further one thousand people had suffered the effects of the alleged attack. The center blamed a barrel bomb allegedly dropped by a helicopter which it said contained Sarin, a toxic nerve agent.
Syria has called the allegations of a chemical attack a “fabrication” and so has Russia, Syria’s biggest ally.
The U.S. State Department said that reports of mass casualties from the attack were “horrifying” and if confirmed would “demand an immediate response by the international community.”
Several medical, monitoring and activist groups reported details of the chemical attack.
Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad, has won back control of nearly all of eastern Ghouta in a Russian-backed military campaign that began in February.
The Ghouta offensive has been one of the deadliest in Syria’s seven-year-long war, killing more than 1,600 civilians, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.