Chemical Warfare on Idlib


For most people in the world, this passed Tuesday was just another day of the week, but for the community of Idlib, Tuesday would be a dark day, full of pain, sadness, and death. 

Two men receiving oxygen after the air strike, 04/17
On Tuesday, a very devastating chemical airstike was dropped over the rebel-held province of Idlib, in the town of Khan Sheikhoun. The civil war in Syria has been going on for six years now, and this attack may have just fueled some very intense fires. The chemical attack has left dozens of people – including children – dead or critically injured. 
So far, upwards of 80 people have been killed due to the air strike, an air strike In which many speculators say was played out by the Syrian army. The Syrian army has denied these accusations. Less than 24 hours after the first chemical air strike, more air strikes reportedly started hitting the same part of town. Speculation points to the Syrian army due to the fact that towns like the province of Idlib, Are held by rebels opposing Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad’s regime.

Idlib, Syria

 The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights first said at least 58 people, among them 11 children, passed out from inhaling the toxic chemicals released into the air. Many others died later after the initial exposure.

The chemical, which the World Health Organization said could be a nerve agent, caused many victims to choke, foam at the mouth, and writhe in pain before passing out. “It was like a winter fog,” Mariam Abu Khalil, a teenager who saw several residents of her hometown die, told The New York Times.

Bodies after the chemical air strike 04/17
Turkey said it dispatched 30 ambulances to Idlib following chlorine gas attacks in the northwestern province, the Turkish Anadolu news agency reported. Syrian opposition health minister Firas Jundi put the death toll at more than 100 civilians and said 500 others, mostly children, were sickened or burned by the chemicals. It is the largest chemical attack in Syria since August 2013, when sarin gas killed hundreds of civilians in Ghouta near Damascus. 

When asked what changes might be expected in the world regarding chemical weapons given the gas attack, one Syria expert said it was a bit late to ask such a question.

“Supposedly the international community was supposed to or should have removed all chemical weapons in 2013 according to the famous Russian-American agreement that apparently was not fulfilled, which raises a question about the monitoring mechanisms,” Joseph Bahout of the Washington-based Carnegie Endowment for International Peace told USA TODAY.

The civil war that has left more than 450,000 Syrians dead as well as 12 million Syrians displaced from their homes, shows no signs of letting up any time soon.

My heart literally breaks for this town. So many people’s lives lost, including innocent children, who have nothing to do with the screwed up decisions the adults of any and every nation/country make. I hope that one day we really find world peace. 


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