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Published: Sun, April 15, 2018
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Fury as children die in 'chemical attack'

Fury as children die in 'chemical attack'

China said on Monday that it supports an investigation into a suspected chemical attack on the Syrian rebel-held town of Douma.

"The latest attack joins dozens of incidents of chemical warfare by the regime since Assad pledged to dismantle these capabilities and clearly shows that Syria continues to possess deadly chemical capabilities and even to create new capabilities, thereby breaching its commitments and the decisions of the global community on the issue", it added.

Patients showed signs of "respiratory distress, central cyanosis, excessive oral foaming, corneal burns, and the emission of chlorine-like odour", it said.

Syrians including children injured in Zamalka neighborhoods of the Eastern Ghouta region, receive medical treatment.

Douma is the last remaining opposition-held town in Eastern Ghouta, once the rebels' main bastion outside Damascus but now ravaged by a seven-week regime assault.

The Douma attack, likewise, has come at a critical juncture, just as the military operation to liberate the entire district of eastern Ghouta from opposition militant groups, dominated by Jaish al-Islam, approaches completion.

The Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS) has said Syrian government forces were responsible for the poison gas attack on a hospital in Douma, which claimed the lives of at least 41 people.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said in February that Britain should consider joining military action against Assad's regime if there is fresh "incontrovertible" evidence he has used chemical weapons against his own people.

Russia's Foreign Ministry released a statement on Sunday calling allegations of a chemical weapons attack in Syria "bogus", "invented", and "fabricated".

How has the world reacted? .

Russia's response may have been inspired by President Donald Trump's Sunday morning tweets suggesting that Russian Federation, along with Iran, had backed the "animal Assad". It was unclear, however, what type of chemicals may have been used.

"President Trump was quick to call out Assad today, along with the Russian and Iranian governments, on Twitter".

Earlier, President Donald Trump had promised a "big price to pay" for the suspected chemical attack.

They "exchanged their information and analysis confirming the use of chemical weapons", it said.

September 14, 2013: Then-U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Lavrov reach a deal that calls for the removal or destruction of Syria's chemical weapons by mid-2014.

"It is highly regrettable that Russian Federation vetoed the renewal of the mandate of the Joint Investigative Mechanism in November 2017 and the European Union calls upon the UN Security Council to rapidly re-establish this mechanism to identify perpetrators of chemical attacks". Monday was the first day on the job for his new national security adviser, John Bolton, who has previously advocated military action against Syria.

Tom Bossert, White House homeland security adviser, told ABC television that he "wouldn't take anything off the table" when asked whether the U.S. could again respond with a missile attack.

"I wouldn't take anything off the table", he said. The US State Department admitted as much in a travel warning posted on its website (though later removed), according to reports towards the end of 2017.

"It's a defining moment in his presidency", Graham said.

Laboratories working for the OPCW compared samples taken by a United Nations mission in the Damascus suburb of Ghouta after the Aug 21, 2013 attack to chemicals handed over by Damascus for destruction in 2014.

- OPCW fact-finding mission concludes that sarin was used in an April 4 attack in the Khan Sheikhoun area of northern Syria, the most deadly use of the nerve agent in three years.

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