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Chemical Weapon Fired in Syria: Report

Rebels blame regime, regime blames rebels; no verification yet
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 19, 2013 7:42 AM CDT
Chemical Weapon Fired in Syria: Report
Syrian citizens carry an injured man from a damaged building that was hit by a Syrian forces airstrike on the al-Marjeh neighborhood, of Aleppo, Syria, Tuesday March 19, 2013.   (AP Photo/Aleppo Media Center, AMC)

(Newser) – Both the government and rebels in Syria say a chemical weapon has been fired—but each side blames the other, the AP reports. Official Syrian news said "terrorists" (its term for the rebels) blasted a rocket "containing chemical materials" in Aleppo province today, killing 15, mostly civilians. Meanwhile, a rebel-linked media group cites "suffocation and poison" from a missile carrying chemical agents, and an activist notes that rebels recently took control of the area. "Why would the Free Syrian Army bomb themselves with a chemical weapon?" he asked. Adds a Reuters photographer on the scene: "They said that people were suffocating in the streets and the air smelt strongly of chlorine. People were dying in the streets and in their houses." Neither accusation could be verified. (Meanwhile, the opposition has elected a new leader—who happens to be a longtime Texas resident.)

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