Syrian army command denies used chemical weapons in Idlib

Many died suddenly, he said.

The weapons used caused many people to choke or faint, and some had foam coming out of their mouths, SOHR said, citing medical sources who described the air strikes as a "toxic gas attack". The High Negotiations Committee, an umbrella opposition group, claimed the death toll could be as high as 100.

A local civil defense official earlier told Anadolu Agency a regime aircraft carried out a chlorine gas attack on the town early Tuesday.

The nature of the substance has not been officially confirmed, and it is unclear if the planes involved were Syrian.

The SCD said two of its centers were targeted, including one in Khan Sheikhoun, and put out of service by airstrikes on Tuesday, but no volunteers were injured.

Khan Sheikhun in Idlib province was bombed by Syrian government or Russian jets; victims of the attack were said to be suffering from severe breathing difficulties and other symptoms that are consistent with chemical weapons.

Damascus has repeatedly denied using chemical weapons.

Spicer would not say whether the White House believes Russian Federation played a role in Tuesday's attack, saying simply that Trump has been briefed and is "extremely alarmed" by this "intolerable act".

In the wake of the 2013 attack, President Bashar Assad agreed to a Russia-sponsored deal to destroy his chemical arsenal and joined the Chemical Weapons Convention.

In 2012, President Obama declared that the USA was drawing a "red line" in Syria. Bashar Assad and his friends, the Russians, take note of what Americans say.

The Ghouta attack prompted Obama to ask Congress to authorize military action against Syria in 2013.

Following the 2013 attack, Syria joined the worldwide Chemical Weapons Convention under a U.S.

There was no immediate comment by Syrian or Russian officials or any worldwide agency on the attack.

Tuesday's reports came on the eve of a major worldwide meeting in Brussels on the future of Syria and the region, to be hosted by the EU's High Representative Federica Mogherini.

The Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu tweeted: "Idlib attack is a crime against humanity".

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson also raised eyebrows last week when he said that Assad's fate would be "decided by the Syrian people".

The UN Security Council will gather on Wednesday after the United Kingdom and France called for an emergency meeting.

According to a doctor at a hospital in Idlib, more than 200 people were wounded.

Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday, he was "shocked and outraged" by images of the victims and called on the global community to "fully and finally remove these terrible weapons from Syria".

United Nations has formally launched an investigation in the aftermath of the attack.

  • Carolyn Briggs