Russia Sends Experts To Aleppo After Reports Of Chemical Attack

Syrian opposition refutes chemical attack claims

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.

Russian warplanes attacked opposition-held areas in northern Syria for the first time in weeks on Sunday, as Assad regime officials said more than 100 people were treated at hospitals for a suspected poison gas attack in the northern city of Aleppo that Damascus and Moscow blamed on opposition groups.

Syria's war has killed more than 400,000 people since it erupted in 2011 with the brutal repression of anti-government protests.

There had been no major offensive in northern Syria since September, when Russian Federation and Turkey, which backs the rebels, agreed to create a buffer zone to separate government forces from rebel fighters in Idlib province.

"According to preliminary data, particularly the symptoms shown by the victims, the shells that bombarded residential areas of Aleppo were filled with chlorine gas", Konashenkov said.

Nasr al-Hariri, the head of the Syrian opposition negotiation delegation to Geneva, told Saudi owned al-Hadath TV that the attack on Aleppo originated from an area controlled by pro-regime Iranian militias.

Chlorine has been used extensively in the Syrian conflict but always against rebel-held targets and usually by being dropped from planes or helicopters, to which the rebels do not have access.

On Saturday, an AFP photographer saw dozens of civilians, including women and children, stream into an Aleppo hospital, some on stretchers or carried in by their relatives.

"The resistance forces do not have chemical weapons or the ability to hold them", the rebel leader said, arguing that Assad's regime launched the offensive in order to incriminate the rebel groups.

In the neighboring Idlib region rebels are still in charge.

"We at the National Liberation Front deny the criminal, lying regime s allegations that revolutionaries targeted the city of Aleppo with any missiles and especially not any containing chlorine gas", it said.

Among an array of factions controlling Idlib, the dominant force is Tahrir al-Sham, an Islamist alliance led by fighters formerly linked to al Qaeda.

But the deal's implementation has stalled after jihadists refused to withdraw from the expected buffer zone by a mid-October deadline, and sporadic shelling and clashes have since rocked the area.

In the past, the United States and its allies have been using as pretexts to carry out missile strikes against Syria.

The ministry also said it planned to talk to Turkey about the incident since Ankara is a guarantor of how the armed opposition upheld a cease-fire in the area. Syria's Foreign Ministry urged the UN Security Council to condemn and punish the attack.



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