Syrians trade blame over ‘poison’ gas attack

Free Syrian Army fighters walk along a damaged street in Hama province. (File photo: Reuters)

Syrian state television and medical sources exchanged blame over a Friday attack in the Hama province that reportedly caused “suffocation and poisoning” of residents.

Scores of residents from Kafr Zita were hospitalized after the attack in which barrel bombs were dropped on the central province. The attack reportedly left scores of people poisoned by chlorine gas, said medics quoted by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights NGO.

"Regime planes bombed Kafr Zita with explosive barrels that produced thick smoke and odours and led to cases of suffocation and poisoning," Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman said.

While the main Western-backed opposition group, the Syrian National Coalition, says dozens of people were hurt in a poison gas attack perpetrated by the regime, state-run Syrian television blamed members of the al-Qaeda-linked Nusra front.

"There is information that the terrorist Al-Nusra Front released toxic chorine... leading to the death of two people and causing more than 100 people to suffer from suffocation," the state broadcaster said.

"There is information that Al-Nusra Front is preparing to hit Wadi Deif in Idlib province and Morek in Hama province with toxic chorine or sarin," it added.

There were no independent verifications of either of the claims.

In August, a chemical attack near the capital of Damascus left as many as 1,400 dead. The opposition and much of the international community blame the attack on the Syrian regime.

The regime denied responsibility and blamed the rebels but shortly after agreed under the threat of U.S. military intervention to turn over its chemical weapons stockpile.

(With AFP and AP)
 

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Last Update: 15:16 KSA 18:16 - GMT 15:16
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