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Syrian opposition activists accuse Al-Assad of new chlorine gas attack

File photo shows a woman, affected by what activists say was a gas attack, breathing through an oxygen mask inside a field hospital in Kfar Zeita village in the central province of Hama.

Syrian opposition activists said today forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad had dropped a chlorine bomb on a rebel-held village, killing a teenager, the sixth alleged poison gas attack there in two months.

The village of Kfar Zeita, in the central province of Hama (200 km north of Damascus), has been the epicentre of what activists and medics say is a chemical weapons campaign in which chlorine gas canisters are dropped out of helicopters.

Damascus denies that forces loyal to Assad have used chlorine or other more poisonous gases and blames all chemical attacks on rebel forces fighting them in the three-year-old uprising.

Assad agreed with the United States and Russia to dispose of his chemical weapons after hundreds of people were killed in a sarin gas attack on the outskirts of the capital last August.

Activists from Kfar Zeita said on Facebook that Abdullah Qadour al-Hamawi, a disabled 14-year-old, was killed in the latest attack yesterday.

They posted video footage of men and children being treated in a field hospital. Many were lying down and one man appeared unresponsive. The authenticity of the footage could not be independently verified.

Chlorine is thousands of times less lethal than sarin but is still illegal under a chemical weapons convention that Syria signed and its use would breach the terms of the deal with Washington and Moscow, itself now weeks behind schedule with 7.5 percent of Assad's chemical arsenal still inside Syria.

Syria did not declare chlorine as part of its stockpile, further complicating the operation to rid Assad of chemical weapons.

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Tags:  Syria  Bashar al-Assad  chlorine  chemical attack  





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