Syria: Attacks with chemical weapons left 355 dead
Syria, August 24, 2013
According to official sources of Doctors Without Borders “3600 patients with neurotoxic symptoms were hospitalized on Wednesday in three hospitals in Damascus after the alleged attack with chemical weapons.” Furthermore it was revealed that of the 3600, 355 died, while the Syrian government and rebels blame each other for the attack.
“Three hospitals in the province of Damascus supported by MSF informed the international medical humanitarian organization the arrival of approximately 3600 patients with neurotoxic symptoms in a period of less than three hours during the morning of day 21, of which 355 died” the organization said in a statement.
The NGO is the first independent source confirming the use of chemical weapons in the region of Damascus, but made it clear that “cannot confirm scientifically the cause of these symptoms or to establish responsibility for the attack”.
For its part, the Syrian opposition accuses the regime for days have attacked the region of Damascus on Wednesday and chemical weapons have killed at least 1300 people. The Syrian regime denied this and accused the rebels.
“The information we received about the symptoms of the patients, in addition to the epidemiological pattern of events (the influx of patients in a short time, the origin of the patients, as well as pollution suffered by medical and first aid workers ) clearly point to a massive exposure to neurotoxic agents” said Bart Janssens, director of operations of the organization.
“This would be a violation of international humanitarian law, which prohibits the use of chemical and biological weapons. Were used for treatment provided by MSF supplies of atropine, a drug indicated for neurotoxic symptoms. MSF is now trying to replenish stocks of such empty centers, “he said.