Syria video shows chlorine gas in streets

2014-05-24 07:15

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Beirut - Opposition activists have posted a video of what they say is chlorine gas floating through the streets of a Syrian village and they accuse President Bashar Assad of mounting a chemical weapons campaign.

Activists and medical sources said the village of Kfar Zeita, in the central province of Hama 200km north of Damascus, has been the focus of a two-month-old assault in which chlorine gas canisters have been dropped out of helicopters.

The government denies its forces have used chlorine or deadlier poisonous gases and blames all chemical attacks on rebels waging a three-year-old uprising against Assad.

The Organisation for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has opened an investigation into the alleged chlorine attacks, more than a dozen of which have been reported since April 11 in several areas.

"Inspectors for the fact-finding mission arrived in Syria last week and are trying to get to some of the sites," the OPCW told Reuters.

Text accompanying the opposition video, posted by a user called Mustapha Jamaa, said it was filmed on Thursday in Kfar Zeita by the Revolution General Commission opposition group.

It showed green-yellow gas in a street. A man runs away from the gas cloud with a woman who is holding a cloth to her mouth. Another man in camouflage trousers and wearing a gas mask calls out for a car to assist the woman. A voice off screen says: "Chlorine gas bombing. Yellow smoke."

Reuters could not independently verify the authenticity of the footage. The video did not show an impact site or indicate where it was filmed.

A freelance photographer told Reuters he arrived at the scene of the attack an hour after a helicopter dropped the bomb.

"The smell of chlorine was very obvious. It smelt like vinegar, or bleach. I started to cough and hyperventilate. My eyes were burning," he said.

One of his photos showed the woman who was running away from the gas in the video. She was being treated with oxygen at a field hospital.

"There were 70 wounded people," he said. "Those who were at the impact site fainted."

Activists said Kfar Zeita was attacked twice on Thursday, as well as the village of Al-Tamana'a in northwest Idlib province.

Resolution vetoed

The alleged attack took place on the same day that Russia and China vetoed a resolution to refer the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court for possible prosecution of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

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.

Chlorine is still illegal under a global chemical weapons convention that Syria signed.

Its use would also breach the terms of the deal with Washington and Moscow, itself now weeks behind schedule, with roughly seven percent of Assad's chemical arsenal still inside Syria.

A diplomat in the region said that 15 OPCW inspectors were stuck in Damascus while they negotiate access with the government and rebels.

"They are negotiating security guarantees from all sides. That's a challenge with opposition groups," he said.

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

Syria's civil war started with a pro-democracy movement against Assad that armed itself following attacks by security forces on protesters.

The ensuing conflict has killed more than 160 000 people, a third of them civilians, and caused millions to flee.

Read more on:    opcw  |  syria  |  wmd
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
4 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Wednesday Gordons Bay - 18:30 PM
    Road name: R44 Faure Marine Drive Both Ways
    ROAD CLOSED at Suikerbossie Drive due to roadworks until 5am - traffic diverted - expect delays
  • Wednesday Kuils River - 18:01 PM
    Road name: Polkadraai Road Eastbound
    ROADWORKS between the R102 Van Riebeeck Road and the R310 Baden Powell Drive exit - expect delays
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2 TV Series for R250

Get 2 TV Series box sets for R250 and save up to R148! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Pre-order the Xbox One

Get this all-in-one entertainment system with live TV, movies, social networking and gaming. Pre-order now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on electronics!

Save up to 35% on electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Curve 8520

Wi-Fi enabled With the BlackBerry Curve 8520 connect to your home...

From R1100.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

The ingredients for today are communicating your original ideas in a creative and unique way that can make the right people look...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.