A suspected chlorine gas attack on an opposition-held neighborhood in the Syrian city of Aleppo has caused at least one death and dozens of cases of suffocation, according to local activists and medical sources.
A video posted online shows what activists say is the aftermath of an attack in the rebel-held al-Sukkari neighborhood in eastern Aleppo.
The Syrian Civil Defence, a rescue workers’ organization that operates in rebel-held areas, said Assad regime’s helicopters had dropped barrel bombs containing chlorine on the Sukari neighborhood, killing at least one person and injuring more than 100.
The Syrian Civil Defence and the Syrian American Medical Society posted videos and photos on social media showing children doused in water using oxygen masks to breathe.
The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said medical sources had reported 70 cases of suffocation.
“Activists on the ground are saying that victims that were rushed to the hospitals are experiencing breathing difficulties,” a journalist said.
“They say that symptoms are the same that they have experienced in the past and this led them to believe that this is a chlorine gas attack.”
The opposition Aleppo Media Centre also charged on its Twitter account that Sukkari was the target of a chlorine attack.
A United Nations and Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons inquiry seen by Reuters last month found that Assad regime forces were responsible for two toxic gas attacks in 2014 and 2015 involving chlorine.
The Civil Defence accused the Assad regime of two other suspected chlorine gas attacks in August . The United Nations Commission of Inquiry on Syria said it was investigating an August incident.
“Accusations by the opposition that the Assad regime dropped chlorine gas in a barrel bomb on Aleppo are likely to further increase tension in the city that is now besieged by Assad regime troops,” a journalist said.
“The UN said that they have been investigating reports of what they believed to be chlorine gas dropped on Aleppo; they say if those accusations are confirmed that would amount to war crimes.”
Assad regime forces put eastern Aleppo under siege on Sunday for the second time since July after advancing against rebels on the city’s outskirts. The city has long been divided between Assad regime and opposition areas of control.
— SAMS (@sams_usa) September 6, 2016