The death toll after Tuesday morning’s deadly gas attack in Syria has risen to at least 80, many women and children among these. The scene was described by local doctors as ‘nightmarish’ and ‘chaotic.’
And Bashar al Assad’s government are denying any responsibility for the act, blaming a “leak” on a “rebel” factory instead.
According to the official version, Syrian aircraft struck a target near the Khan Sheikhoun. The facility hit was purportedly a warehouse containing toxic substances, which leaked and caused the deaths of dozens of men, women, and children in the nearby town.
However, international observers refute this claim, stating instead that the Syrian army acted with intent, and deployed a chemical weapon on a civilian area.
The gas, suspected to be sarin or a similar organophosphate agent, acted quickly and killed as many as 70 people in the immediate vicinity, injuring up to 400 more as the chemical dispersed.
According to World Health Organisation observers, victims displayed symptoms consistent with nerve agent poisoning, including acute dyspnea, miosis ( constriction of the pupils), and convulsions. The dead bodies also showed no sign of external injury, which seems to corroborate the chemical agent theory.
US President Donald Trump referred to the act as ‘heinous’ and quickly blamed his predecessor for the lack or resolute action in Syria.
The attack is one of the worst atrocities in Syria’s long running civil war, and follows a similar event in August 21, 2013, when Syrian forces deployed sarin-loaded rockets in Ghouta, a rebel-held suburb of Damascus. Up to 1,800 people, including many children, perished.