One Survivor of the Chemical Attack on Ghouta said 'the Gas was My Throat Like Chilli"

Published April 16th, 2018 - 03:00 GMT
An unidentified volunteer holds an oxygen mask over a child's face at a hospital following an alleged chemical attack (AFP/File Photo)
An unidentified volunteer holds an oxygen mask over a child's face at a hospital following an alleged chemical attack (AFP/File Photo)

The suffering of Syrian children who foamed at the mouth and struggled to breathe as they were caught up in a chemical attack last week has been revealed.

Children as young as seven have spoken of the horror they witnessed as the Assad regime targeted Douma, Eastern Ghouta, with chemical weapons last week.

The horrific attack, which left at least 70 people dead, has spurred the West into action with the US, UK and France co-ordinating airstrikes against Syria.

One girl, seven-year-old Masa, had to flee with her mother Amani while people fell to the ground around them amid clouds of white gas and dust, the Sunday Times reports from Syria.

Amani, 34, told the newspaper: 'The gas was spicy. Spicy in my throat like chilli. I was vomiting and coughing.

'I couldn't control my body. I was just shaking the whole time. There wasn't oxygen.'

The family and their neighbours had heard bombing outside, and discovered a gas attack when two young men went to see what was happening after hearing a hissing sound, it is reported.

Amani found her husband and other daughter collapsed after inhaling the chemicals, but while her family survived everyone in the neighbouring basement died, she said.

The survivors have been living in a camp in northern Syria after many of their friends and neighbours died in the Assad regime's attack.



Another former resident of Douma, who now lives in exile, said eight of his neighbors - two women and their six children - were found dead and were were believed to have suffocated in their underground shelter from the poisonous gas.

Donald Trump cited the Syrian children's agony when he spoke from the White House to announce U.S. airstrikes.

'The evil and despicable attack left mothers and fathers, infants and children thrashing in pain and gasping for air,' he said.

Footage posted by the White Helmets showed victims with yellowed skin crumpled on the floor, white foam emerging from their mouths.

The White House said doctors and aid organizations on the ground in Douma reported 'the strong smell of chlorine and described symptoms consistent with exposure to sarin.'

Much of the evidence comes from witness testimony, as well as video and photos shot by aid workers, victims of the attacks and unspecified additional intelligence about barrel bombs and chlorine canisters found in the aftermath.

The newspaper said unrelated survivors on the ground had reported similar symptoms suggesting they had been the victims of a chemical attack.

The symptoms included coughing, vomiting and foaming at the mouth, as well as a loss of feeling in their limbs which Amani said made it hard to get upstairs.

Syria has denied the claims of a chemical attack, calling them 'fabrications' and an 'unconvincing broken record'.

UK Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson also said UK authorities had seen horrific pictures of children in pain after the attack.

'The reason we have taken this action is because we all saw the images last week of the suffering that had been inflicted on innocent men, women and children, and there has been a need to act,' he said.

The Ministry of Defence said 'very careful scientific analysis was applied to determine where best to target the Storm Shadows to maximise the destruction of the stockpiled chemicals'.


This article has been adapted from its original source.


© Associated Newspapers Ltd.

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