As many as nine people were killed and hundreds injured as militants shelled residential districts of the Syrian city of Aleppo with chlorine-laden shells on Saturday, news agency ANI reported. According to Al Arabiya, the projectiles were filled with chlorine gas which caused extreme breathing problem to the people, including children, who were subjected to the attack in rebel-held Idlib.
Earlier in the day, the Syria’s state-run SANA news agency said extremist armed groups fired shells loaded with chlorine at Aleppo on Saturday evening. A police source told Syria TV that the shopping area on the Nil Street, where citizens were strolling in the evening, came under fire. Earlier, reports about a chlorine attack came from the neighborhoods of Al-Khalidiyah and Jamiyat al-Zahr. Initial reports said at least 15 people were hospitalised with breathing troubles.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the two women and seven children were killed in Jarjanaz village in Idlib province, where Russia and Turkey have agreed a buffer zone.
Aleppo Health Directorate Chief Ziad Haj Taha said many lives were saved by Syrian servicemen, who promptly delivered victims to hospitals, according to Russian news agency TASS. "So far, no one was discharged from hospital. Doctors continue treating those affected," he said. "The condition of two teenagers, who were earlier admitted to intensive care, has stabilised."
Aleppo police chief Major Gen Issam al-Shibli had earlier blamed the attack on terrorists from the Jabhat Al-Nusra terrorist group (outlawed in Russia). He said the militants launched projectiles at city districts close to their positions. Sputnik quoted a Syrian military source as saying, “The Syrian Army responded to the shelling of militants, attacking the positions from where shelling was carried out, militants suffered significant loses.”
On Thursday, the militant groups had shelled western outskirts of Aleppo, injuring five civilians.