Syria war: Aleppo 'gas attack' sparks Russian Federation strikes


A Syrian official says that at least 50 civilians were being treated Saturday (local time) following a suspected poison gas attack by Syrian rebel groups on the government-held Aleppo city in the country's north.

Russian Federation says it has carried out air strikes against Syrian rebels it accuses of wounding more than a hundred people in the city of Aleppo with a chemical attack.

Russia's defence ministry said on Sunday its warplanes bombed militants in the rebel stronghold of Idlib whom it accused of firing poison gas at Aleppo.

The air raids are the first since Russian Federation and Turkey agreed in September to create a demilitarised zone in adjacent Idlib to prevent a full-scale government offensive on Syria's last rebel-held province.

State news agency SANA quoted a police officer in Aleppo saying the attack hit al-Khalidiya neighborhood.

A Syrian doctor at the Aleppo University Hospital said patients he treated were discharged less than two hours after being admitted, noting that they only displayed mild symptoms.

The shelling caused scores of people to suffer maladies ranging from fainting to severe breathing problems.

Rights groups said an investigation into the attack was needed and called on Russian Federation and Syria to allow a neutral third party to look into it.

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Abdel-Razak tweeted that "These are lies" soon after reports emerged of an attack in Aleppo that injured dozens of people.

Children try improvised gas masks in their home in Binnish in Syria's rebel-held northern Idlib province as part of preparations for any upcoming raids on September 12, 2018.

The ministry also said it planned to talk to Turkey about the incident since Ankara is a guarantor of how the armed opposition upheld a cease-fire in the area.

The UK-based observatory said the shelling in Aleppo wounded 94 people, while government shelling earlier on Saturday had killed two women and seven children in a village in Idlib.

The September 17 deal was meant to protect three million inhabitants in the Idlib region, more than half of which is held by an alliance led by jihadists of Al-Qaeda's former Syria affiliate. The government has responded with counter attacks on rebel-held areas in the Aleppo countryside.

The West has accused Damascus of using chemical weapons on several occasions, something Syria has consistently denied. The UN-OPCW team also accused the Daesh terrorist group of using mustard gas twice, in 2015 and 2016. She added that all parties, including the Assad regime and Russian Federation, should facilitate an investigation by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons into the suspected attack in Aleppo.

Abu Omar, a Failaq al-Sham spokesman, accused Damascus of trying to create "a malicious charade" as a pretext to attack rebel towns, Reuters reported.