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Published On: Tue, Apr 10th, 2018

Syria chemical attack: over 500 exposed in weapons attack, mostly ‘women and children’

A deadly chemical attack hit the rebel-held suburb of Douma, east of Damascus, killing dozens and putting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government back in the headlines and crosshairs of western leaders.

Rescue workers in Syria reported finding at least 42 people dead in their homes from apparent suffocation, and anti-government activists circulated videos of lifeless men, women and children sprawled out on floors and in stairwells, many with white foam coming from their mouths and nostrils.

A stream of patients with burning eyes and breathing problems were rushed to clinics after the attack at dusk on Saturday.

Syria Civil Defense reported that “… the continuous bombardment of residential neighborhoods in the city of Douma, more than 500 cases -the majority of whom are women and children- have reached the medical centers with symptoms of exposure to chemicals. Cases have shown signs of respiratory distress, central cyanosis, excessive oral foaming, corneal burns, and the emission of chlorine-like odor.”

See a photo below from their video.

screenshot video/Syrian Civil Defense White Helmets

Full statement:

Following a peace truce that only lasted for a couple of days, the city of Douma was again under heavy shelling that resulted in tens of casualties and hundreds of injuries. The attacks included the systematic targeting of medical centers and civil defense teams, heavily paralyzing the medical capacity of the city due to the destruction of the majority of the civil defense centers and a large number of ambulances and rescue vehicles, leaving them completely out of service.

Drawing by Strassengalerie via wikimedia commons

On Saturday, 07/04/2018 At 7:45 PM and with the continuous bombardment of residential neighborhoods in the city of Douma, more than 500 cases -the majority of whom are women and children- have reached the medical centers with symptoms of exposure to chemicals. Cases have shown signs of respiratory distress, central cyanosis, excessive oral foaming, corneal burns, and the emission of chlorine-like odor.

On clinical examination, bradycardia, wheezing and coarse bronchial rales were observed. One of the injured was dead on arrival. Other patients were treated with humidified free oxygen and bronchodilators after which most have improved. In several cases, where the exposure to chemicals  was on a larger scale, patients, including 4 children were put on  ventilators. Six casualties were reported, one of which is a woman with symptoms of convulsions and pinpoint pupils.

Civil defense volunteers have reported more than 42 casualties with similar clinical symptoms of cyanosis, excessive oral foaming and corneal burns that were found dead in their homes/shelters. Civil defense teams were unable to evacuate the bodies due to the intensity of the odor and the lack of PPE. The given symptoms indicate that the victims suffocated from the exposure to toxic chemicals; most likely an organophosphate element.

Following the chemical attack, the target site and the surrounding area of the hospital receiving the injured were attacked with barrel bombs, which hindered the ability of ambulances to reach the victims.
The Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS) and the Syrian Civil Defense (White Helmets) have documented more than 200 uses of chemical weapons in Syria since 2012. Previous Security Council Resolutions on this matter have failed in stopping the use of chemical weapons in Syria.

The Syrian Civil Defense Organization and the Syrian American Medical Society demand an immediate cease-fire in the city of Douma and the entry of international investigation teams from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to investigate the facts of the crime. The organizations also call for the immediate intervention of the International Community to prohibit the use of chemical weapons in Syria and stop the tragedy of Ghouta and the city of Douma, so as to ensure the protection of personnel and humanitarian facilities to enable them to continue their life-saving work.

About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professional in 2008 on sites like Examiner and blogs: Desk of Brian, Crazed Fanboy. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) will be a licensed Assembly of God Pastor by the Spring of 2017. "Why do we do this?" I was asked and the answer is simple. "I just want the truth. I want a source of information that tells me what's going and clearly attempts to separate opinion from fact. Set aside left and right, old and young, just point to the world and say, 'Look!'" To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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  1. Israel criticized for attack on Syrian air base, central to Iranian military supporting Assad | The Global Dispatch | The Global Dispatch says:

    […] This assault comes after a chemical weapon attack on civilians in Damascus’ rebel-held suburb of Duma. […]

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