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107 civilians suffer rebels' 'poisonous gas' attack in Syria's Aleppo

Xinhua | Updated: 2018-11-25 17:53

A boy suffering suffocation lies on bed at al-Razi hospital in the northern city of Aleppo, Syria, on Nov 24, 2018. [Photo/IC]

DAMASCUS - At least 107 civilians suffered suffocation as a result of a rebel attack with "poisonous gas" in Syria's northern city of Aleppo on Saturday, said a report by the state news agency SANA reported on Sunday.

Activists said the attack is the first of its kind since Russia and Turkey agreed to pacify the situation in northern Syria, the report said.

The rebels fired projectiles stuffed with "poisonous gas" on the al-Khalidiyeh and Zahraa neighborhoods as well as the Nile Street in the western part of Aleppo city, said the report.

Wounded people were taken to the hospitals in the cities, said the report, quoting Health Director in Aleppo Ziad Taha, adding that the poisonous gas used in the attack is likely to be the chlorine gas after observing the symptoms of the wounded people.

Meanwhile, the Syrian national TV aired footages from inside one of the hospitals in Aleppo, showing doctors rushing to help the wounded people.

A doctor said the situation of the patients was stable, noting that a child had to be taken to the intensive care unit.

Hussain Diab, the governor of Aleppo, branded the attack as a terrorist one, noting that it proves the rebels are in possession of poisonous gas.

Diab also called on the international community to shoulder its responsibilities toward the civilians who have suffered from the rebel attacks.

After the poisonous attack, the Syrian army targeted the rebels' positions in the countryside of Aleppo, hitting the areas from which the attack on the city was initiated, according to SANA.

The army's response inflicted hefty tolls on the "terrorists," said the report, adding that the attack comes days after local sources revealed that "French terrorists reached (the northern city of) Idlib through Turkey to add poisonous materials to the rockets possessed by the rebels."

The rebels in the countryside of Aleppo city have repeatedly targeted the city with mortar shells.

But it is the first instance since the state media accused the rebels of firing shells with poisonous gas as the namesake capital city of Aleppo was fully liberated from the rebels in 2016 except the western and northern countryside.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor said the attack on Aleppo was the first of its kind since Turkey and Russia agreed in September to impose a demilitarized zone in northern Syria that includes parts of the countryside of Aleppo.

During the more than seven-year war, the rebels and the Syrian government side traded accusations of chemical weapons in the battles.

In 2013, officials of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons arrived in Syria to monitor the dismantlement of the Syrian chemical weapons arsenal, after Damascus officially joined the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons Convention.

The Syrian government said that the Western-backed rebels resorted to chemical weapons to frame the Syrian government and draw in foreign intervention.

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