More than 100 injured in Aleppo in suspected rebel gas attack

More than 100 injured in Aleppo in suspected rebel gas attack

More than 100 injured in Aleppo in suspected rebel gas attack

Sana, the Syrian state news agency, said 107 people were taken to hospital after shells containing a toxic gas were fired on three areas of the city on Saturday.

Russian Federation launched airstrikes on the city of Aleppo yesterday after the Syrian regime and its allies accused rebels of a chemical attack, endangering a fragile ceasefire in the north of the country that was agreed in September.

The reported attack on Aleppo is the first since Russian Federation and Turkey agreed to establish a demilitarized zone in the rebel-controlled Idlib province, according to UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR).

Government shelling killed three children and two women on Saturday in Syria's rebel-held Idlib province, where Russian Federation and Turkey agreed on a buffer zone, a monitoring group said.

The shells spread a strong stench and caused dozens of people breathing problems on Saturday night in Aleppo, which is under state rule, a monitoring group said.

"We cannot know the kinds of gases but we suspected chlorine and treated patients on this basis because of the symptoms", Zaher Batal, the head of the Aleppo Doctors Syndicate, told Reuters.

He said the symptoms included red eyes, heart palpitations and difficulty breathing.

"The criminal regime, under Russian instructions, is trying to accuse the rebels of using toxic substances in Aleppo".

On Twitter he wrote that "the regime and its allies are using this as an excuse to launch a military operation in north Syria". State TV later said the gas affected two other areas in the city.

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In a statement, Russia's Ministry of Defense said it planned to talk to Turkey about the incident since Ankara was a guarantor of how the militants there upheld a ceasefire.

A teacher and four schoolchildren were among the victims after the shelling hit near a school in the northwestern province of Idlib, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The deal to create the demilitarised zone staved off an army offensive against the Idlib region, including nearby parts of Aleppo and Hama provinces.

The September 17 deal was meant to protect three million inhabitants in the Idlib region, more than half of which is held by an alliance led by jihadists of Al-Qaeda's former Syria affiliate.

Rebel commanders and opposition figures denied carrying out a chemical attack and accused the government of trying to undermine a cease-fire.

The joint UN-OPCW team has also blamed the Islamic State (IS) extremist group for using mustard gas twice in 2015 and 2016.

Konashenkov said "terrorist groups" in an area of buffer zone held by HTS fired shells filled with chlorine on a residential area of the city.

During the more than seven-year war, the rebels and the Syrian government side traded accusations of chemical weapons in the battles.

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