Syria: 72 dead, including 20 children by chemical attack. What is known about this atrocious method

The war in Syria at the height of horror. Yesterday, 72 civilians, including 20 children, died in an air strike in a northwestern town held by rebels and jihadists. There are also 170 wounded. A toxic gas attack, such as the one in August 2013 that killed over 1,400 people. For the NGOs present at the scene of the drama, no doubt. The victims perished by suffocation.

Fainting, vomiting, presence of a white foam in the mouth. Videos were broadcast by anti-regime activists. According to a rescuer present there, the victims had “dilated pupils, convulsions”. According to the Syrian Observatory of Human Rights (OSDH), the toxic gas – unidentified – is the cause of the death of these civilians.

A journalist explains that he felt gas in the air, two hours after the bombing. According to several experts, the symptoms suggest that it is sarin gas. “It is not chlorine,” confirms a Syrian doctor, at the bedside of the victims. The AFP correspondent in a hospital in Khan Sheikhoun, too, saw patients with moss coming out of their mouths. Many were sprayed with water by rescue workers trying to resuscitate them. For its part, the WHO has just confirmed signs of exposure to “neurotoxic agents” .

“The UN Commission on Human Rights in Syria will launch an investigation into the raid. “The use of chemical weapons and the deliberate targeting of medical centers amount to war crimes and serious human rights violations,” the spokesman said.

Since March 2011, and the beginning of the conflict, more than 320,000 civilians have lost their lives .

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