Syrian rebels use toxic chemicals against govt troops near Damascus - state media
Syrian rebels use toxic chemicals against govt troops near Damascus - state media
News   /   Syrian Crisis

Syrian armed opposition groups have used chemical weapons against Syrian army in the Damascus suburb of Jobar, where soldiers discovered stockpiles of toxic poisoning antidotes, state media reports.

According to SANA citing “an official source” suffocation cases among army soldiers have been reported. 

The source told the agency that army unit pushed into the area, where soldiers were attacked, and seized a warehouse containing material labeled 'Made in KSA' as well as a large number of protective masks. 

In addition, the army discovered a stockpile of chemical poisoning antidotes with 'The Qatari-German Company for Pharmaceutical Industries' label on them. 

Clashes have been reported between rebels and regime forces in Jobar. 

Some Western powers suspect  Damascus to be behind the attack that the opposition claims killed anywhere between ‘dozens’ to ‘1,300’.  

Photo from by M. Ismael/Mazen

The US and European security sources have made a preliminary assessment that the Syrian government used chemical weapon, but still said they are seeking conclusive proof, which could take days, weeks or longer to gather. 

The White House said on Saturday that a ‘range of options’ is available on Syria if it’s proven that Damascus used chemical weapons.

Photo from by M. Ismael/Mazen

"We have a range of options available, and we are going to act very deliberately so that we're making decisions consistent with our national interest, as well as our assessment of what can advance our objectives in Syria," the White House official said. "Once we ascertain the facts, the President will make an informed decision about how to respond," the official added. 

Obama is set to meet with his national security team later on in the day to discuss possible options. 
In response, Iran has warned the US against possible military intervention in Syria, saying it will fuel tension across the region. 

"Iran has announced several times that there is no military solution to the Syrian crisis, these provocative measures and moves make regional issues more complicated and fuel tensions," Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Araqchi said.

AFP Photo / SANA

"The Syrian problem could be resolved only through a peaceful solution and there is no international permit for military meddling in Syria," he added. 

FM said there is evidence showing that terrorist groups and rebels have been using chemical weapons against Syrian civilians.

Photo from by M. Ismael/Mazen

UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, Angela Kane arrived in Syria to try to get access for the team of international inspectors to work at the site in the Damascus suburbs.

The UN investigative team entered the country last Sunday to examine and investigate the alleged use of chemical weapons in three different locations, as it was agreed with Syrian government.

Following Wednesday attack, UN inspectors requested access to the site “without delays”. 

The Syrian government said that it was ready to engage in “maximum” cooperation with UN experts, according to Russia’s foreign ministry.

On Friday the Syrian opposition said they will ensure the safety of UN chemical weapons experts as they pass through rebel-controlled areas, adding that their successful arrival at the site of an alleged gas attack near Damascus within 48 hours was "critical." 

On Saturday the Syrian armed opposition denied that they had employed chemical weapons, making allegations that the government was employing diversionary tactics.

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