Syria, Russia accuse rebels of gas attack on civilians in Aleppo

World Today

In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, shows a man receiving oxygen through respirators following a suspected chemical attack on his town of al-Khalidiya, in Aleppo, Syria, Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018. (SANA via AP)

Syria and Russia have accused rebel groups of launching a gas attack on Aleppo. Officials say more than 100 were wounded, but Syrian rebels have denied responsibility for the attack.
CGTN’s Alaa Ebrahim filed this report from Damascus.

Syria’s state news agency SANA reported that 107 civilians were admitted to two hospitals in Aleppo overnight on Saturday, after rebels on the western outskirts of the city shelled the districts of Khalidia, Share Al-Nile, and Al-Zahra.

Medical sources in Aleppo tell CGTN that while no one was killed in the attacks, several victims were admitted to intensive care units. A senior officer in the Syrian army command told CGTN that the attacks were carried out using artillery shells loaded with gas. The officer said it was chlorine.

The latest escalation highlights the difficulties of maintaining a Russian-Turkish deal for a truce in Idlib province. The Idlib province is just adjacent to Aleppo and the last rebel stronghold in Syria. It was spared a massive government attack after Turkey intervened.

Ankara vowed to separate radical rebel groups from other factions. Turkey also agreed to create a demilitarized zone to separate government forces and rebel fighters.

The Russian Ministry of Defense said its fighter jets annihilated militants who carried out the gas attack on Aleppo. Damascus has maintained official silence on the matter. However, anonymous government sources accuse al Qaeda’s Syrian affiliates of carrying out the attack.

Both the government and the rebels have blamed each other for chemicals weapons attacks over the course of the conflict, which is now in its eighth year.