Of the more than two dozen victims of the Syrian gas attack that were transported to Turkey for treatment, three have died, according to reports on Thursday.
Turkey’s Justice Minister said that autopsy results of the dead indicate that chemical weapons were used in the attack.
“As a result of the autopsy done, it is established that a chemical weapon was used,” stated Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag.
The latest numbers from the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights show at least 86 people dead, including 30 children.
Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem is denying that the Syrian army was behind the chemical weapons attack in the Idlib province, saying it was not logical for the government to use such weapons at this time.
“I stress again that our army has not used chemical weapons and would not use chemical weapons — not against civilians and not against terrorists,” he told reporters at a press conference in Damascus on Thursday.
A draft resolution has been presented to the United Nations Security Council (UN) by the United States, France, and Britain, demanding an investigation.
Russia is supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s claims of innocence, while Western countries, the United States included, blame Assad’s military for what President Trump called “horrific” murders. Moscow said the poison gas had leaked from an insurgent weapons depot held by rebels when it was hit by Syrian bombs.
The Australian government is reported to be backing an investigation into whether the Syrian government is responsible for the attack.
Calling a drafted UN resolution blaming Assad “unacceptable,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, “Russia and its armed forces will continue their operations to support the anti- terrorist operations of Syria’s armed forces to free the country.”
According to Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders), one of its hospitals in Syria treated victims “with symptoms — dilated pupils, muscle spasms, involuntary defecation — consistent with exposure to neurotoxic agents such as Sarin.”
The World Health Organization agreed that victims were exposed to a nerve agent.
It was reported that Hasan Haj Ali, commander of the Free Idlib Army rebel group, said the Russian statement blaming the rebels is a “lie,” stating that the rebels were not even capable of producing nerve gas.
Assad is accused of using Sarin gas in an attack in 2013, killing hundreds of people in a Damascus suburb. At that time, then-President Barack Obama said Assad had crossed a “red line” after Assad had agreed to give up his chemical arsenal under a deal brokered by Moscow. However, Obama did nothing in response.
Trump called Tuesday’s attack “heinous actions by the Bashar al-Assad regime.” He also brought up Obama’s failure to enforce that “red line” four years ago, threatening unilateral action by the U.S.
H/T: Sky News
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