It is unclear what exactly happened Friday, but state-run Syrian television said the al-Qaeda-linked Nusra Front rebel group launched a chlorine gas attack on the rebel-held village Kfar Zeita, killing two people and injuring more than 100. The government did not comment on how they knew the agent used was chlorine.
The Western-backed opposition group, the Syrian National Coalition, says the attack hurt dozens of people, but they did not identify the toxin used. The online videos posted by the opposition show people in a hospital gasping and struggling for air while masks are placed over their faces to help them breathe.
Reports from human rights groups said that an air raid dropped the chemical weapons on the town and left heavy smoke in the area, causing people to suffer from suffocation and breathing problems. Chlorine is used to purify water, but is deadly as a gas. After Germany used chlorine gas in World War I, Syria, along with many other countries, signed the Geneva Protocol of 1925, banning its use.
The Syrian TV report also claimed that Nusra Front was planning another chemical attack in the town of Wadi Deif, but did not comment on how they knew of the group's plans.
The U.S. State Department has been unable to confirm the attack or corroborate the videos that have been posted online.
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