GAS ATTACK CONDEMMED

The UK, France and the US have suggested a UN Security Council resolution to condemn an alleged gas attack in Syria which has killed at least 100 people. It beckons on the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to quickly tell its findings on the attack in Idlib province, where 400 people were wounded.

The draft resolution “condemns in the strongest terms the use of chemical weapons” in Syria, in particular and the attack on Khan Sheikhun and expresses “outrage” over the use of toxic gases in the six-year war. It also implores UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to report periodically on whether the Syrian government is working with an international inquiry into the use of chemical weapons across the war-torn country.

Diplomats say the resolution is likely to be voted for during the UN Security Council emergency meeting. Distressing footage from the town of Khan Sheikhoun revealed how people choked and fainted in the aftermath of the attack – with victims appearing to be foaming at the mouth. Relief workers hosed down children to wash away any chemicals from their skin and gave them oxygen.

Mohammed Hassoun, an activist in nearby Sarmin, said that : “Because of the high number of wounded, others have been distributed around in rural Idlib. “They were unconscious, they had seizures and when oxygen was administered, they bled from the nose and mouth.” Other footage showed dead children being covered with blankets, and bodies being loaded into vehicles.

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The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the attack was believed to have been done by government jets, but the Syrian military has denied responsibility and said it would never apply chemical weapons. Russia’s defence ministry has also denied carrying out any airstrikes in the area. While the attack has been met with international condemnation, the United States’ response to the strike has been met with criticism.

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