Reports of gas attacks swirl as airstrikes kill 80 in Eastern Ghouta

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Reports of gas attacks swirl as airstrikes kill 80 in Eastern Ghouta

Medics in the town of Hammoria in Syria’s Ghouta region have said they’ve been treating people suffering from symptoms consistent with exposure to chlorine gas.

Syrian government sources denied allegations that Damascus had carried out the attack, dismissing the accusation as an “act of desperation by Western powers.”

CGTN’s Alaa Ebrahim reports.
Follow Alaa Ebrahim on Twitter @Alaa_Ebrahim_tv

Just last week, Syria’s Permanent Representative to the U.N. said Damascus had intelligence concerning “terrorist” plans to launch a chlorine gas attack, and then blame the Syrian Army for using it.

Rebels have accused the government of carrying out chemical attacks since the campaign in Eastern Ghouta began, but CGTN cannot independently verify these reports.

The Syrian Air Force stepped up its operations just hours after a U.N. aid convoy arrived in Douma, the largest city in the rebel-held enclave of Eastern Ghouta. It was the first convoy to reach the embattled region after a U.N. Security Council resolution declared a ceasefire and the immediate delivery of aid. Even so, the World Health Organization office in Syria reported that the government stripped the convoy of medical supplies.

Meanwhile, a Russian transport plane crash-landed in Syria, killing all passengers and crew members. The An-26 plane missed the runway when approaching Khmeimim Airbase, near the Syrian coastal city of Latakia.

It is unclear if this was an accident or the result of an attack. The Russian airbase has been a frequent target of rebel attacks. A spokesman at the base said the plane wasn’t shot at and that a more likely cause was mechanical failure.