At least five Syrians have been killed and a number of others injured in a chemical attack by foreign-sponsored Takfiri militants against a residential neighborhood in northwestern Syria, a report says.
The health director for the Syrian city of Aleppo, Mohammad Hazouri, said five people died and eight others experienced breathing difficulties after artillery shells containing toxic gasses slammed into the Old City of Aleppo, located some 355 kilometers (220 miles) north of the capital, Damascus, on Tuesday, Syria’s official news agency SANA reported.
The chemical raid in Aleppo comes as the Syrian army is making progress in operations to retake the city from militants. The United States has pressured Syria to loosen its siege of the city. Russia, which has been carrying out an aerial campaign against militants in Syria, has formed corridors for the safe exit of civilians from Aleppo amid Syrian army operations.
Syrian government sources said Takfiri terrorists had also used chemical munitions against civilians in the militant-held city of Saraqib, which administratively belongs to the northwestern province of Idlib.
Doctor Ibrahim al-Assad, a neurologist in Saraqib, said he treated 16 of 29 cases brought to his hospital on Monday night.
He added that most of the victims were women and children and were suffering from breathing difficulties, red eyes and wheezing.
Rescuers and doctors in the city said the symptoms were similar to those caused by chlorine gas.
Militant forces have, in return, accused government forces of having launched the toxic gas attack.
The Syrian government turned over its entire chemical stockpile under a deal negotiated by Russia and the United States back in 2013.
The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has overseen operations to remove the chemical stockpiles from Syria.
The deal came after an August 2013 gas attack that killed hundreds of people in the Ghouta suburb of Damascus. According to reports, the rockets used in the assault were handmade and contained sarin.
While the Syrian government denied having been responsible for the Ghouta attack, it agreed to have its chemical stockpiles removed to remove any pretext for a possible US invasion.
A man receives treatment at a hospital following a Daesh chemical attack in the Sheikh Maqsood neighborhood of Syria’s northwestern city of Aleppo, April 7, 2016.
On April 7, 23 people lost their lives and over 100 others suffered breathing difficulties when Daesh terrorists carried out a chemical attack against members of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in the Sheikh Maqsood neighborhood of Aleppo.
Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. The United Nations (UN)’s Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura estimates that over 400,000 people have been killed in the conflict.
Back in 2014, the UN said it would no more update its death toll for Syria because it could not verify the figures that it received from various sources.