IL Newswire

Suspected Chemical Attack Kills Dozens in Syria, Amounts to War Crime


Two men in Syria receive treatment after the suspected chemical weapon attack. Photograph: Ammar Abdullah/Reuters

Two men in Syria receive treatment after the suspected chemical weapon attack. Photograph: Ammar Abdullah/Reuters

On the morning of Tuesday, 4 April 2017, dozens of civilians were killed in what is believed to be a chemical weapon attack in the Idlib Province in Syria. The attack is reportedly one of the deadliest in the entire conflict to date, spanning over six years.

Victims exhibited symptoms typically shown with the use of sarin gas - specifically, convulsions, bleeding from the nose and mouth, low oxygen levels, and constricted irises. Even worse, the hospitals in the area are incapable of treating the wounded - currently numbering over 200 - due to structural damage from the incessant bombings by Syrian forces.

Although neither President Bashar al-Assad nor his allies have been definitively found to have caused the attack, Assad has reportedly used sarin gas on the Syrian population before. Despite disarmament deals struck in 2013 to destroy the Assad regime's chemical weapon stockpile by the next year, the same or similar weapons are being used again today, over four years later. 

The stockpiling and use of chemical weapons continues to be prohibited under international law as a war crime. Opposition forces within Syria have appealed to the United Nations Security Council to investigate the situation and to take necessary action.