Syria, rebels blame each other for alleged chemical attack
Tuesday, March 19, 2013 - 01:31
March 19 - Syria's government and rebels accused each other of launching a deadly chemical attack near the northern city of Aleppo Tuesday in what would, if confirmed, be the first use of such weapons in the two-year-old conflict. Mana Rabiee reports.
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A possible chemical attack in Syria.
Syrian officials and rebels accused each other of launching a chemical rocket attack near Aleppo Tuesday.
Syrian TV aired images of what it said were casualties taken to hospitals, saying 25 were killed and many dozens more wounded.
(SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) WOMAN IN HOSPITAL SHOUTING:
"They hit us with chemical weapons. The terrorists attacked us, those bastards! May God punish them. They are not men."
The Syrian government condemned the attack, but a senior rebel commander in Aleppo accused the government of firing the chemical rocket.
In Istanbul, opposition leaders condemned the use of chemical weapons, adding they need to assess the situation.
Syrian National Coalition Spokesman Khaled Saleh.
(SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) SYRIAN NATIONAL COALITION SPOKESMAN KHALED SALEH, SAYING:
"We have received some news - which is not confirmed with the command of the Free Syrian Army - that some chemical weapons are used by the Free Syrian Army. We are contacting the Free Syrian Army to see if this information is correct and we are going to deal with this issue."
White House spokesperson Jay Carney said the U.S. was monitoring the allegations closely.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY SAYING:
"We are deeply skeptical of a regime that has lost all credibility and we would also warn the regime against making these kinds of charges as any kind of pre-text to cover for its use of chemical weapons."
If confirmed, Tuesday's chemical attack would be the first use of such weapons in the two year conflict.
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