News World Poison gas attack reported in Syria

Poison gas attack reported in Syria

Both rebels and government forces in Syria are reporting a poison gas attack in a central village, with video showing victims struggling to breath.
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Syrian government media and rebel forces say poison gas has been used in a central village, injuring scores of people, while blaming each other for the attack.

The main Western-backed opposition group, the Syrian National Coalition, says the poison gas attack on Friday hurt dozens of people in the village of Kfar Zeita in the central province of Hama.

It did not say what type of gas was used.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported on Saturday that people suffered from suffocation and breathing problems after the attack, apparently conducted during air raids that left heavy smoke over the area. It gave no further details.

State-run Syrian television blamed members of the al-Qaeda-linked Nusra Front for using chlorine gas at Kfar Zeita, killing two people and injuring more than 100.

The TV report claimed the Nusra Front is preparing for another chemical attack against the Wadi Deif area in the northern province of Idlib, as well as another area in Hama.

It did not explain how it knew the Nusra Front’s plans.

An amateur video posted online by opposition activists shows a hospital room in Kfar Zeita that is packed with men and children, some of whom breathing through oxygen masks.

On one bed, the video shows six children on a bed, some appearing to have difficulty breathing while others cry.

The video appeared genuine and corresponded to other Associated Press reporting of the attack.

Chemical weapons have been used before in Syria’s three-year-old conflict.

In August, a chemical attack near the capital, Damascus, killed hundreds of people.

The US and its allies blamed the Syrian government for that attack, which nearly sparked Western airstrikes against President Bashar Assad’s forces.

Damascus denied the charges and blamed rebels of staging the incident.