Syrian National Coalition claims at least 650 dead in reported nerve gas attack on civilians in eastern Damascus suburb.
The country's main opposition group, Syrian National Coalition, accused the regime of killing more than 650 people in the attack: "Over 650 confirmed dead result of deadly chemical weapon attack in Syria," the National Coalition said on Twitter. Two Syrian rebel groups claimed that government forces used nerve gas in Damascus on Wednesday, reportedly killing hundreds. Activists claimed that up to 600 people had been killed in the attack, and hundreds more were reportedly wounded. The two groups said that rockets that were filled with poisonous gas were fired into the capital, and amateur video found online showed victims sprawled out on hospital floors, with others being treated with hand-pump respirators. The government of President Bashar al-Assad denied using chemical weapons, calling the claims “baseless” on state-run television. The attack comes just one day after chemical weapons experts were sent to Damascus by the United Nations to investigate the government’s alleged use of nerve gas.
"Dr. Khaled al-Doumi, a doctor and manager of the medical center of Duma, a Damascus suburb near the site of the alleged attack, said, "Medically-speaking, the symptoms indicate that poisoning was a result of phosphorous compounds that could be caused by organic insecticides or sarin gas."
"There are people trapped at home who are unreachable so the death toll is going to soar up," al-Doumi said. A statement is expected from the medical center to announce the final figures in the attack."
The United Nations Security Council will hold an emergency meeting on the alleged attack at 3 p.m. on Wednesday.