Turkey has said that post-mortem results confirmed that chemical weapons were used in an attack in Syria’s Idlib which killed more than 80 people on Monday, Al Jazeera reported on Thursday. “Autopsies were carried out on three of the bodies after they were brought from Idlib. The results of the autopsy confirms that chemical weapons were used,” Turkey Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said.
Experts from the World Health Organisation conducted autopsies on the victims in Turkey’s Adana city on Wednesday, reported AP. Medical teams from the WHO and Doctors Without Borders said the victims had showed signs including suffocation, foaming at the mouth, involuntary defecation among others. Paramedics had used fire hoses to wash off the chemicals from the bodies of the victims of the attack, AP added.
Syrian Foreign Minister denies allegations
Syria, however, has continued to maintain that their armed forces did not use chemical weapons in the attack. “I stress to you once again: the Syrian army has not, did not, and will not use this kind of weapons – not just against our own people, but even against terrorists that attack our civilians with their mortar rounds,” Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem said, according to AFP.
The minister said the army had bombed a warehouse in Syria that happened to contain chemical weapons, reported The Guardian.
One family loses at least 22 members in attack
The Alyousef family, Khan Sheikhoun town’s prominent family, was one that was massively affected by the chemical attack, reported AP. Abdel Hameed Alyousef lost his 9-month-old twins, his wife and 22 other members of his family in the attack.
Aya Fadl, another member of the family, saw a truck piled with bodies of the deceased, which included her relatives. “I saw them. They were dead. All are dead now,” she told AP.
Meanwhile, air strikes continued in Idlib province with at least 27 people dying in the rebel-held town of Salqin on Wednesday, reported Al Jazeera. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the government raids had killed 18 people, including nine children, in Damascus’ Saqba city.
United States President Donald Trump on Wednesday had said the chemical attack in Syria had crossed “a lot of lines” for him. Trump blamed the Bashar al-Assad government for the “heinous” attack and added that it was an “affront to humanity”.
“I will tell you that attack on children yesterday had a big impact on me – big impact,” Trump said. “My attitude toward Syria and Assad has changed very much …You’re now talking about a whole different level.” He further blamed the previous Barack Obama administration’s “weakness and irresolution” for the attack.
In September 2016, the Syrian government was accused of dropping barrel bombs containing chlorine that killed more than 80 civilians in the Sukari area of Aleppo.