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Reported chemical attack in Syria kills dozens, including children

Reported chemical attack in Syria kills dozens, including children

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said those killed in the town of Khan Sheikhun, in Idlib province, had died from the effects of the gas, adding that dozens more suffered respiratory problems and other symptoms.

Spicer said Obama had more options when he declared a red line against chemical weapons in 2012.

The Syrian government has consistently denied using chemical weapons and chlorine gas, accusing the rebels of deploying it in the war instead. "There are 18 critical cases here".

The Observatory says numerous victims in the attack on the town of Khan Sheikhoun in the northern province of Idlib were choking, suffocating, vomiting and foaming at the mouth after the bombing.

Chlorine has been suspected of being an agent in previous attacks, but the chemical used in this attack is as yet unknown.

The president went on to urge the leaders of the world's greatest powers to "act now, without delay, to stop these criminal, murderous acts taking place in Syria by the hand of the Assad regime, and to work urgently to remove all stockpiles of chemical weapons from Syrian territory".

Photographs circulated by activists showed members of the volunteer White Helmets rescue group using hoses to wash down the injured, as well as at least two men with white foam around their mouths. Some are seen struggling to breathe; others appear foaming or bleeding from the mouth.

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Horrific pictures and videos - initially shared by activists to a number of journalists on a private WhatsApp group - have been posted on Twitter and Facebook. The worst attack was what a United Nations report said was an attack by toxic sarin gas in August 2013 on the Damascus suburb of Ghouta that killed hundreds of civilians.

Idlib province is largely controlled by an alliance of rebels including former al-Qaida affiliate Fateh al-Sham Front.

There were no immediate statements from the Syrian government or any other global agency post the attack.

A Syrian doctor at a local hospital told BuzzFeed News many victims who were brought in came suffocated, and with "narrowing of the eyeballs".

August 21, 2013: Hundreds of people suffocate to death in rebel-held suburbs of the Syrian capital, with many suffering from convulsions, pinpoint pupils, and foaming at the mouth. Opposition activists published videos of purported victims, including one showing nine lifeless children. The victims were stripped down to their underwear.

The attack would not be the first time regime forces have been accused of using chemical attacks against their own people.

Last year, a UN-appointed investigation panel found that chemical weapons were used by regime forces and opposition fighters in 2014 and 2015.


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