Syrian army denies alleged chemical attack in rebel-held town

World Today

Syria chemical attack This frame grab from video provided on Tuesday April 4, 2017, by the Syrian anti-government activist group Edlib Media Center, that is consistent with independent AP reporting, shows a victim of a suspected chemical attack as he receives treatment at a makeshift hospital, in the town of Khan Sheikhoun, northern Idlib province, Syria. (Edlib Media Center, via AP)

The U.N. Syria commission strongly condemned on Tuesday an alleged chemical attack which struck the rebel-held Syrian town of Khan Shikhoun, leaving as many as 58 dead and many more injured, Xinhua reported.

“Preliminary information indicates a number of civilian casualties, including children. Reports suggesting that this was a chemical weapons attack are extremely concerning,” the Commission said in a written statement.

Syrian state news agency SANA, reports the Syrian army denied using “any poisonous gases in Khan Sheikhoun or in any other city or village.” SANA cites a source at the Syrian Foreign and Expatriates Ministry.  

The Foreign Ministry official said Tuesday the country’s military has no chemical weapons of any type and has “not used them before or later and doesn’t seek to acquire them.”

Syria chemical attack

This photo provided Tuesday, April 4, 2017 by the Syrian anti-government activist group Edlib Media Center, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, shows a Syrian doctor treating a child following a suspected chemical attack, at a makeshift hospital, in the town of Khan Sheikhoun, northern Idlib province, Syria. (Edlib Media Center, via AP)

The White House has condemned what it describes as a “heinous” chemical attack against civilians by the Syrian government.

Spokesman Sean Spicer said Tuesday’s attack in the Syrian province of Idlib is “reprehensible and cannot be ignored by the civilized world.”

Spicer would not say whether the White House believes Russia played a role in the attack, saying President Donald Trump has been briefed.  He says Trump is “extremely alarmed” by this “intolerable act.”

Story compiled with information from Xinhua and The Associated Press.