Days after an Israeli security source said that Syrian government forces loyal to President Bashar Assad had used chemical weapons against rebels in a suburb of Damascus, new reports suggest a poison gas attack took place on Friday — this one injuring “scores of people,” according to the Associated Press.
This latest reported attack occurred in Kfar Zeita, a village held by rebels about 125 miles north of Damascus.
Both Assad loyalists and rebels trying to unseat the president blamed each other for employing the unconventional weapons.
The AP described the scene of the aftermath of the alleged attack, writing, “online videos posted by rebel activists from Kfar Zeita echoed earlier images that sparked a world outcry, showing pale-faced men, women and children gasping for breath at a field hospital.”
The outcry came last August after a chemical weapons attack killed hundreds.
In this latest reported attack, Syrian state television blamed the Al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front for using the poison gas in the village situated in Hama province.
“There is information that the terrorist Nusra Front released toxic chlorine…leading to the death of two people and causing more than 100 people to suffer from suffocation,” state television said.
But according to opposition groups, it was Syrian government planes which dropped the chemical agent.
“Regime planes bombed Kafr Zeita with explosive barrels that produced thick smoke and odors and led to cases of suffocation and poisoning,” Rami Abdel Rahman of the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights told the BBC.
According to the Syrian television report, two were killed and dozens were injured. The Western-backed Syrian National Coalition opposition group also said dozens were hurt, but did not know which kind of chemical agent was used.
TheBlaze is unable to independently verify the claims.
The AP viewed video posted online by Syrian opposition activists which “showed a hospital room in Kfar Zeita that was packed with men and children, some of whom breathing through oxygen masks. On one bed, the video showed six children, some appearing to have difficulty breathing while others cried.” Still photos from the video can be seen in this article.
After the August poison gas attack which killed hundreds, the U.S. and western allies blamed Assad’s government and nearly launched airstrikes on regime targets; however, President Assad agreed to relinquish his chemical weapons stockpile to avert the threatened attack. The Syrian government is currently in the process of moving out the weapons, though it has missed deadlines.
The Assad government said last August’s attack was staged by rebels in an effort to galvanize foreign military intervention.
But the Los Angeles Times noted on Saturday, “no conclusive evidence has emerged indicating who was behind the [August] attack.”