‘Chemical Attack’ Kills Dozens in Idlib Syria

Dozens of people are dead in a northern Syria province after a suspected chemical attack on a rebel-held town. Activists and monitoring groups reported early Tuesday that strikes carried out by the Syrian government or Russian jets dumped a substance on Idlib that caused at least 58 people to choke to death, with responders on the ground saying they suspected it was the nerve agent sarin. Witnesses said they rushed to the scene to find people choking and collapsing in the streets. Initial reports indicate as many as 300 more were hurt in the attack, according to the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Most of the victims who died from asphyxiation, including nine children, were civilians. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime was forced to give up its stock of chemical weapons in a 2013 deal with U.S. and Russian negotiators, after a sarin attack on the rebel-held Damascus suburb of Ghouta left as many as 1,000 dead. Despite Assad’s repeated claims that Syria had never used chemical weapons, a UN investigation concluded in 2016 that forces in the country had used chlorine gas as a weapon at least twice in the past few years.