- President Bashar al Assad blamed for the dropping of toxic gas containers
- Assad’s regime breach of UN resolutions 2118 and 2235
- Assad shook the above assertions and rejected the use of chemical weapons
The opposition Syrian National Coalition (SNC) has blamed President Bashar al Assad for perpetuating the dropping of containers of toxic gas overnight on a town close to where a Russian military helicopter was shot down on Monday.
A helicopter was seen dropping containers of toxic gas in Saraqeb in rebel-held Idlib province, leaving 33 people affected. Mostly women and children were suffocated by chemicals which they suspect was chlorine; a Syrian rescue service operating in said territory reported on Tuesday.
“The daily reality confirms that all the international agreements and previous Security Council decisions, be they about chemical weapons or otherwise, are meaningless for the Assad regime,” the Syrian opposition said in a statement.
The Syrian opposition pointed out that the Assad regime has resorted once again and has violated United Nations resolutions 2118 and 2235 on using chemical substances and toxic gasses.
Syrian Pres. Assad brushed off previous allegations and denied using chemical weapons.
A video posted on YouTube by the Syrian rescue service — which describes itself as a neutral band of search and rescue volunteers — apparently shows a number of men struggling to breathe and being given oxygen masks by people in civil defense uniforms.
The spokesman said: “Medium-sized barrels fell containing toxic gasses. The Syrian Civil Defense was not able to determine the type of the gas.”
Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which tracks violence on all sides in the civil war, verified the said attack and said barrel bombs fell on Saraqeb late on Monday; wounding a large number of citizens.
Meanwhile, the Civil Defense spokesman noted that it was the second time Saraqeb was hit by toxic gas; adding that the group was aware of around nine suspected chlorine gas incidents across Idlib province since the conflict began.
The Syrian government and its Russian allies were not immediately available for comment.
The Russian helicopter attack claimed five casualties on board. The attack, according to Russia’s defense ministry, is the biggest officially acknowledged loss of life for Russian forces since they started operations in Syria.
Reports from the Russian government said the Mi-8 military transport helicopter was shot down after delivering humanitarian aid to Aleppo as it made its way back to Khmeimim.
No group has claimed responsibility for downing the helicopter.