syria victory aleppo war
Govermental Syrian forces fire into sky as celebrating their victory against rebels in eastern Aleppo, Syria, December 12, 2016. Reuters/Omar Sanadiki

Syria experienced a suspected chemical attack on Tuesday that experts said to be the worst in years in the country. The reports were supported with graphic videos showing victims with foam covering their mouths as they die of asphyxiation. There are victims who took their clothes off leaving their undergarment while the rescuers hosed them with cold water to try dispersing the chemicals.

The number of death toll varies from the different news agency. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said that the death toll reaches 58 including 11 children. However, the head of a charity ambulance service in Idlib Mohammed Rasoul reported that 67 people were killed while 300 were injured. Union of Medical Care and Relief Organisations (UOSSM) reported that more than 100 were killed.

Victims were brought to hospitals to receive treatment. Doctors said that many victims died due to asphyxiation. They were also treating wounded patients. The hospital provided oxygen masks for those who struggled to breathe. Patients have covered the floors of the entire hospital along with operating rooms and corridors.

Chemical weapon used in Syria attack

A doctor said that the victims showed symptoms of pale skin, sweating and narrow or pin-eye pupils. They also showed very intense respiratory detachments. He said that the symptoms matched the usage of sarin. But he said that tests would be conducted to prove the presence of sarin.

Sarin is a highly toxic chemical which is considered 20 times as deadly as cyanide. It is a tasteless, colourless and odourless liquid in its purest form making it hard to be detected as a harmful chemical. Although Edlib Media Center (EMC) and Local Co-ordination Committees (LCC) believed that the chemical weapon was sarin, chemical weapons expert Dan Kaszeta said that it would be problematic to determine through the video which chemical was used in the attack. He said that a number of chemical agents behaved the same in the body in terms of their psychological events.

Comments on chemical attack

US President Donald Trump described the attack as reprehensible as it attacked innocent people including women and children. French President Francois Hollande said that the Syrian regime would deny once again the evidence of its responsibility for the massacre. UN Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura said that there should be a clear identification of accountability and responsibilities. UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said that if President Bashar al-Assad's regime was responsible for the attack, he would be guilty of war crime.

Syria chemical attack video

Facebook/James Longman BBC