Dozens killed in suspected chemical weapons attack on rebel-held city near Damascus, activists say...

A medical worker administers oxygen to a child following an apparent chemical weapons attack in the Syrian city of Douma. (Associated Press)
Dozens of individuals were killed in an understandable chemical weapons attack on a residential district of national capital once troops loyal to the govt restarted their offensive to require back the last rebel-held bastion close to the capital, opposition activists, medics and rescue employees aforementioned Sunday.

The Syrian yank Medical Society, a Washington-based relief organization that supports health facilities within the space, aforementioned a minimum of forty two individuals died within the attack, that passed off throughout barrage Sabbatum night within the town of Douma in japanese Ghouta.

More than five hundred others were delivered to native medical centers with symptoms indicative of exposure to a agent, together with signs of metastasis distress, excessive foaming at the mouth and also the emission of a chlorine-like odor, the cluster aforementioned in an exceedingly statement.

The Asian nation protection, a team of 1st responders operating con areas, place the cost at a minimum of seventy, most of them girls and kids United Nations agency had been concealment in basements they use as makeshift bomb shelters.

The attack, it said, was allotted by a Syrian government heavier-than-air craft that born a "barrel bomb" stuffed with AN unidentified agent. Barrel bombs area unit usually designed from oil drums or water tanks that area unit stuffed with explosives and metal detritus.

The rescue cluster conjointly called the White Helmets uploaded graphic videos on social media showing glassy-eyed corpses of ladies and kids with white foam oozing out of their nostrils and mouths.

"There's a strong smell here," says one person off-camera as he and alternative activists undergo a building checking out victims.

The videos couldn't be severally verified.

The attack transpire throughout AN intense barrageas booster forces ironed their offensive on Douma , consistent with the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a pro-opposition watchdog based mostly in Britain.

At least eleven of the victims, it said, suffocated to death as a result of smoke inhalation in their basements.

"We're talking concerning many airstrikes, rockets and mortars on atiny low space," Rami Abdul Rahman, head of the Observatory, aforesaid by phone Sunday. "People do not have the power to resist this quantity of smoke."

He couldn't ensure the employment of chemical weapons.

The Syrian government was fast to deny the charge. The state-run Syrian Arab press agency quoted an unidentified military supply as voice communication that "an army that's progressing quickly… doesn't need to use any reasonably chemical weapons."

The Syrian government "was determined to finish terrorists on each in. of its lands," the supply aforesaid, adding that "the charades of chemical [attacks]" wouldn't "help the terrorists."

Damascus considers all rebels to be terrorists assisted  by its regional and international enemies.

The U.S. State Department aforesaid during a statement that it had been closely following the "disturbing reports… relating to another alleged chemical weapons attack."

"These reports, if confirmed, area unit ugly and demand an instantaneous response by the international community," it said.

The latest suspected attack came when the breakdown of Russian-backed negotiations between the Syrian government and therefore the Army of Islam, the dominant rebel faction in Douma. On Friday, booster troops had restarted their offensive on the territorial dominion and were already reported  to own broken its outer perimeter.

More than one,600 folks are reported  killed since government troops, backed by Russian aviation, launched a savage campaign to require back eastern Ghouta in February.

In recent weeks, the govt. had offered to rebels the now-standard deal it's extended to alternative enclosed areas of the country, granting safe passage to those that refuse to get down their arms to go away to the rebel-held province of Idlib within the country's northwest.

Tens of thousands of individuals have since been bused from the region to Idlib, as well as fighters from Faylaq al Rahman and Ahrar al Sham, Islamist teams backed by Qatar and Turkey.
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