New chlorine attacks in Idlib, activists say

Civilians exposed to new chemical attacks by regime in the northwestern province of Idlib according to activist reports in Syria

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

New hazardous chlorine attacks in the northwestern province of Idlib have caused several dozens of people to suffer asphyxiation, activists told Associated Press (AP).

Muhammed Tennari, a doctor who reported to the UN Security Council last month after treating a number of victims in Idlib from an earlier chemical attack, said that at least three separate attacks were carried out successively in the province, injuring nearly 80 people.

According to AP, Tennari presented field reports from doctors in three different villages that were hit consecutively by regime forces. 

The reports showed that the government helicopters dropped barrel bombs containing chemicals on Janoudieh, Kansafrah, and Kafr Batiekh villages on Thursday.

Tennari said a man in his thirties died on Thursday from another suspected chlorine attack in a fourth village in Idlib. The man's six-month-old baby died in that attack as well, Tennari added.

The Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) reported that 60 people were injured in three different attacks and victims were taken to hospitals.

Last week, the Syrian regime’s helicopters launched several raids on the cities and towns of the Idlib countryside - using barrel bombs containing toxic gas - which caused the death of at least one civilian and wounded dozens others, primarily children, Ara News, a local independent agency has reported.

President of the National Coalition for Syrian Opposition Forces, Khaled Khoja, urged the UN council “to act on its resolutions and stop the usage of chemical weapons against civilians in Syria.” 

Despite condemning such attacks, the UN has been unable to follow through with action or assign blame.

The US and some other council members accuse the Syrian regime of using chemical weapons against its own citizens, stating that no other party in the conflict has the helicopters capable of dropping such chemicals.

Syrian opposition groups announced that they took control of 'Jisr al-Shughour' city west of Idlib Province last week on Saturday, edging closer to the government-held heartland of Latakia along the coast.

Idlib and surrounding regions have been under barrel bombs attack since then.

Meanwhile in Qalamoun, confrontations are still ongoing between the Hezbollah-backed Syrian army and Syrian opposition factions, including Fatah army and the al-Qaeda affiliated Nusra Front.

Hezbollah's leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah vowed on Tuesday that his forces and Syrian allies would clear the rebels out of the border region north of the capital Damascus that insurgents use as a main supply route for arms and fighters.

TRTWorld and agencies