Retaliation on Syrian military base after chemical attack

Retaliation on Syrian military base after chemical attack”

Syrian state TV said there were casualties in what it said was a suspected USA missile attack on the T-4 airfield near Homs, which is close to the ancient city of Palmyra in central Syria. The reports could not immediately be independently verified.

Images released by the Syrian Civil Defense White Helmets, a volunteer organization, showed children lying on the ground motionless and foaming at the mouth. "Douma city, April 7. there is a strong smell here", a voice can be heard saying.

A Syrian military official also said Israel was behind the attack.

Britain's Foreign Office also called the reports, if confirmed, "very concerning" and said "an urgent investigation is needed and the global community must respond". "President (Vladimir) Putin, Russia and Iran are responsible for backing Animal Assad".

Russia, however, dismissed the reports. "We firmly deny this information", said General Yuri Yevtushenko, head of the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the Warring Sides in Syria. It had been under the control of Islamic State militants until the Syrian army and its allies regained control previous year after heavy Russian military intervention.

At least 14 members of the Syrian military and its allies have been killed in a missile attack on a military base in Homs province, a monitoring group says.

Government forces had already taken control of more than 90 percent of eastern Ghouta, an opposition stronghold near Damascus. The militants from Jaish al-Islam had been negotiating their exit with Russian representatives.

After capturing most of Ghouta with a military assault, Syria and its ally Russian Federation secured two negotiated withdrawals last month that saw 46,000 rebels and civilians leave the enclave.

The Syrian state denied government forces had launched any chemical attack.

"We tried to send people to the area to rescue the injured, but even the rescue workers began suffocating", said Mohamed Samer, a medical worker in Douma.

It blamed a barrel bomb allegedly dropped by a helicopter which it said contained sarin, a toxic nerve agent. "Israel has been trying to convince Washington to adopt a more pro-active, anti-Iran strategy in Syria, and certainly sees Trump's rhetoric in the wake of the chemical attack as an opportunity".

The joint statement from SAMS and the civil defence said medical centres had taken in more than 500 people suffering breathing difficulties, frothing from the mouth and smelling of chlorine.

The Syrian state broadcaster said there were several dead and wounded in the strike. The Union of Medical Relief Organisations, a US-based charity that works with Syrian hospitals, told the BBC that the Damascus Rural Specialty Hospital had confirmed 70 deaths. "The majority were civilians, women and children trapped in underground shelters", he said.

The Assad government, in a statement posted on the state-run news agency SANA, strongly denied the allegations.

In that case, the president ordered the bombing of the runway in Syria from which, the US said, planes carrying the chemicals took off, even as he was hosting China's President Xi Jinping in Mar-a-Lago.

"The Assad regime and its backers must be held accountable and any further attacks prevented immediately", she said.

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