More than 80 people ill after Aleppo chemical attack, monitors say

Posted at 3:35 PM, Sep 06, 2016

More than 80 people were suffering severe breathing difficulties in Syria’s embattled city of Aleppo after another chemical attack Tuesday on a rebel-held neighborhood, said the Syrian Civil Defense, a volunteer rescue group.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also reported the attack, saying that medical sources accused regime warplanes of pounding the Sukkari neighborhood with barrel bombs “laden with poison gas.”

Harrowing footage distributed by the Syrian Civil Defense — also known as the White Helmets — shows small children and other victims being rushed to the makeshift Basel Aslan hospital in the arms of rescuers, gasping desperately for air as they are given oxygen masks.

The video also shows a boy being washed with a hose by rescuers after being pulled from the rubble as the sirens of ambulances wail around him.

Another video by the Aleppo Media Center shows a man laying almost lifeless at the same hospital as medics try to pump oxygen into his lungs.

Such scenes are becoming all too familiar in Aleppo, part of which has been held by rebels since July 2015. Government forces in July encircled the rebel-held part of the city in a siege that cut residents off from basic supplies of food, water, fuel and medicine, spawning a humanitarian crisis.

Rebel-held Aleppo has been pounded by the forces of President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, backed by Russian air power. Several cases of chlorine gas bomb attacks also have been reported there.

A UN investigation in late August found that chemical weapons had been used in Syria, both by the national air force and ISIS militants. It found two instances where regime forces had used chlorine as a chemical weapon, and one where ISIS had use mustard gas.

In late August, a helicopter dropped two barrel bombs on a funeral wake for children in Aleppo, killing at least 16 people, Syrian monitoring groups said.