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UN investigating reports of chlorine attacks in Syria

09 February 2018

The US Central Command said the coalition acted in self-defence after pro-government forces moved on an area under the control of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces.

The use of chemical weapons, including asphyxiating chlorine gas, is strictly prohibited under global law and constitutes a war crime. Surrounding villages have been battered by air raids that left hospitals filled with wounded children.

"Massacres are happening daily, and we are sitting here unsure of what will happen next", said Aldoumani, who lives in eastern Ghouta, a designated de-escalation zone.

Obama, naively, backed down when Russian President Vladimir Putin intervened and offered the United States president a deal that the Syrian government would destroy all its chemical weapons if only Obama would back down on his threat to use force against Damascus.

"The situation in East Ghouta is worse than it has ever been", the Syrian American Medical Society said in a news release.

A man holds a child after an airstrike in the besieged town of Douma, Eastern Ghouta, Damascus, Syria on Wednesday.

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France has long called for Al Assad's ouster, backing the Syrian opposition during the seven-year war.

Also Tuesday, Iran's President Hassan Rouhani criticized Turkey's ongoing offensive against US -backed Syrian Kurdish fighters in the Syrian enclave of Afrin, saying it doesn't serve the interests of any country in the region. Airstrikes killed at least 80 civilians across the enclave yesterday, 6 February.

The accusations "continue to be of grave concern", the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said.

At least 300,000 people have been displaced in Idlib since mid-December, when the most recent regime push on the area began.

The SDF and the coalition targeted the attacking forces with air strikes and shelling after "20 to 30 artillery and tank rounds landed within 500 metres (yards) of the SDF headquarters location", a USA official said.

The U.S. and Russian Federation have been lashing out at each other for months over the issue of accountability for chemical attacks in Syria, which is a close ally of Moscow. According to humanitarian volunteers from the Syrian Civil Defense, at least nine people were treated for symptoms of chlorine exposure following the Saraqeb attack.

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The government has denied using chemical weapons and condemned "lies and allegations" levelled by the West.

Russia, Assad's main backer, retorted that "no perpetrators have been identified" and accused the US.

France last month blacklisted companies and nationals it said had links to Syria's alleged chemical programme.

Israeli warplanes flying out of Lebanese airspace carried out a series of attacks against a Syrian military research base in Jamraya overnight, with a number of missiles hitting the base and causing substantial damage. It is the location of a scientific facility where the West suspects chemical weapons are produced.

Damascus says Israel and its Western and regional allies are aiding Takfiri terrorist groups operating inside the Arab country, while the Tel Aviv regime's military carries out such sporadic strikes against Syrian government forces.

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UN investigating reports of chlorine attacks in Syria