Media Pushes Syrian Rebels Version Of Events Surrounding Possible Chemical Weapons Attack
August 21, 2013 "Information Clearing House - Today’s report of the nerve gas attack in the suburbs of Damascus has made its way through the world media, prompting a sweeping condemnation of the Assad government by pundits and politicians in the US and Europe.
“Activists” claim that rockets with nerve gas hit the suburbs of
Ain Tarma, Zamalka and Jobar in the Ghouta region – although
they would not specify exactly who fired those rockets.
The Syrian government denies these accusations, and maintain
there is no truth to the reports.
AMMAN: Syrian activists accused President Bashar al-Assad’s forces of launching a nerve gas attack on rebel-held districts near Damascus on Wednesday that they said killed more than 200 people.
Activists said rockets with chemical agents hit the suburbs of Ain Tarma, Zamalka and Jobar in the Ghouta region.
Bayan Baker, a nurse at Douma Emergency Collection facility, said the death toll from the attack, collated from medical centres in the region, was 213.
“Many of the casualties are women and children. They arrived with their pupil dilated, cold limbs and foam in their mouths. The doctors say these are typical symptoms of nerve gas victims,” she said.
One photo purportedly taken by activists in Douma showed the bodies of at least 16 children and three adults, one wearing combat fatigues, laid at the floor of a room in a medical facility where the bodies were collected.
The incident took place during the visit to Damascus of a U.N. chemical weapons team investigating the possible use of chemical agents in Syria.
The government denied the reports, with state television quoting a source as saying that there was “no truth whatsover” to the reports, which it said were aimed at distracting the visiting team of U.N. experts from their mission.
The United States and European countries say they believe Assad’s government has used poison gas including the nerve agent Sarin in the past, which Washington called a “red line” that justified international military aid to the rebels.
Khaled Omar of the opposition local council in Ain Tarma said he saw at least 80 bodies at the Hajjah Hospital in Ain Tarma and at a makeshift clinic at Tatbiqiya School in the nearby district of Saqba.
“The attack took place at around 3:00 AM (0000 GMT). Most of those killed were in their homes,” Omar said.
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