Witnesses: Syria used chemical weapons

May 16, 2013 at 8:48 AM
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SARAQEB, Syria, May 16 (UPI) -- Witnesses are claiming that the Syrian government dropped at least two devices containing poisonous gas in the northern town of Saraqeb.

The incident allegedly occurred April 29, and videos were taken of the event, but the BBC said it can not verify whether the attack occurred — or if it was carried out by the government of President Bashar Assad.

Doctors at the local hospital said they admitted eight people who were suffering from breathing problems as a result of the incident. Some were vomiting, others had constricted pupils, and one woman died from her injuries.

"It was a horrible, suffocating smell. You couldn't breathe at all. You'd feel like you were dead. You couldn't even see. I couldn't see anything for three or four days," Mohammed Khatib, the son of the victim, Maryam, said.

A doctor who treated Maryam Khatib said her symptoms corresponded with organophosphate poisoning, and that samples had been sent for testing.

The Syrian government has vehemently denied using chemical agents, the British broadcaster reported.

Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, a former commanding officer at the U.K. Joint Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear Regiment, said the testimony and evidence about the incident was strong, but incomplete.

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