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Syrian Government Launches Chemical Attack on Syrian Town; 58 Reported Dead

White House has condemned Syria, Obama Administration

 

Amar Abdullah Reuters

man carries the body of a child, after what rescue workers described as a suspected gas attack in the town of Khan Sheikhun.

A suspected sarin gas attack on Khan Sheikhun in Syria's Idlib Province has killed at least 60 people. The Syrian government, alone among the factions in the Syrian Civil War, is known to possess poison gas, though they consistently deny using it.

The White House press secretary, Sean Spicer, described the carnage as "reprehensible" and directly blamed the Syrian leadership. But he also laid some of the responsibility on Barack Obama, saying: "These heinous actions by the Bashar Assad regime are a consequence of the past administration's weakness and irresolution."

Doctors say victims from attack on Khan Sheikhun were bleeding from the nose and mouth, had constricted irises and suffered from convulsions.

Save the Children said at least 11 children were among the casualties.

The operations chief of the UN-led team that investigated a mass sarin attack on the rebel-held Ghouta area of Damascus four years ago, Jerry Smith, said: "This absolutely reeks of 2013 all over again." In that attack, more than 1,300 people were killed. The UN said the perpetrators probably had access to the stockpile of sarin held by the Syrian military at the time, as well as the expertise to use it.

Sarin, or GB (G-series, 'B'), is a colorless, odorless liquid, used as a chemical weapon owing to its extreme potency as a nerve agent. It is generally considered a weapon of mass destruction. Production and stockpiling of sarin was outlawed as of April 1997 by the Chemical Weapons Convention of 1993, and it is classified as a Schedule 1 substance.

In June 1994, the UN Special Commission on Iraqi disarmament destroyed the nerve agent sarin under Security Council resolution 687 (1991) concerning the disposal of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. It was thought at the time that Iraq had transferred some of its chemical stockpile to it's fellow Arab Baathists in Syria.

 

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