Allegation of chemical weapons use in deadly attack in Syria shocks world
Wednesday, August 21, 2013 - 01:50
(WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT) Aug. 21 - As video of an apparent gassing in Syria spreads, the international community weighs in on what could be the deadliest chemical weapons attack since the 1980s. Nathan Frandino reports.
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WARNING-STORY CONTAINS GRAPHIC IMAGES
These are among the reactions within the international community to a video that surfaced showing scores of bodies strewn across floors in Syria in what is believed to be the worst chemical weapons attack since the 1980s.
Estimates of the death toll range from as few as 500 to as many as 1,300.
The Syrian opposition is accusing the government of carrying out the deadly attack over rebel-held Damascus suburbs. Meanwhile, President Bashar al-Assad's administration is calling the allegations illogical.
British foreign affairs minister William Hague joined the opposition in slamming the Syrian government.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH FOREIGN AFFAIRS MINISTER WILLIAM HAGUE SAYING:
"I hope this will wake up some who have supported the Assad regime to realize its murderous and barbaric nature, a government that cares so little for the lives of the people of its own country."
The video, which was posted on a social media site, appears to show victims choking, with some foaming at the mouth.
The men, women and children from the video show no visible signs of injury.
Reuters has been unable to independently verify the video, or the causes of the deaths. But one man who said he had retrieved victims said, quote, "They looked like they were asleep, but they were dead."
The attack comes days after a United Nations team arrived in Syria to investigate other allegations of chemical weapons use.
Late Wednesday, the Security Council held an emergency meeting to discuss the alleged attack.
Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson (yahn eh-lee-ah-suhn) delivered a message of shock and concern.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) JAN ELIASSON, DEPUTY SECRETARY-GENERAL OF THE UNITED NATIONS, SAYING:
"As you have seen from the statement of the Secretary General earlier today, he was deeply disturbed, in fact shocked by these allegations and of course we see the need to investigate this as soon as possible."
Meanwhile, people in New York protested outside to demand stronger action by the U.N.
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