Rebels: Syria Dropped Chemical Weapons on Us

Opposition says hundreds dead as regime denies use of toxic gas
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 21, 2013 5:43 AM CDT
Updated Aug 21, 2013 7:59 AM CDT
Syria Rebels: Many Killed in Chemical Attack
UN weapons inspectors arrive in Damascus on the weekend.   (AP Photo/AP Video)

Syrian opposition groups say hundreds of people—Reuters says nearly 500—were killed today in chemical weapons attacks on rebel-held suburbs of Damascus. Videos uploaded to YouTube by activists show people, including many children, being treated in makeshift hospitals, reports the BBC, which has been unable to fully verify the videos but believes they are genuine. The videos show some victims having convulsions, while others appear to be having difficulty breathing.

The country's state-run news agency calls reports of the use of toxic gas "baseless" and accuses the rebels of trying to distract United Nations weapons inspectors who arrived in the country over the weekend. "We thought this regime would not use chemical weapons, at least these days with the presence of the UN inspectors," an activist who witnessed the aftermath of the attack and believes the death toll is in the hundreds tells the New York Times. "It is reckless. The regime is saying, 'I don’t care.'" (More Syria stories.)

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