The world has looked on in horror today as graphic images emerged showing the aftermath of a dawn poison gas attack in the suburbs of Damascus that wiped out 1,300 people as they lay sleeping in their beds.
Syrian activists accused President Bashar al-Assad’s forces of launching a nerve gas attack earlier today in what would be by far the worst reported use of poison gas in the two-year-old civil war.
Activists said rockets with chemical agents hit the Damascus suburbs of Ain Tarma, Zamalka and Jobar before dawn.
While these pictures of dead children are graphic, disturbing and undoubtedly the worst so far to have emerged from the conflict, MailOnline has made the decision to publish them in order to raise awareness of the plight of innocent people.
The accounts could not be verified independently and were denied by Syrian state television, which said they were disseminated deliberately to distract a team of United Nations chemical weapons experts which arrived three days ago.
Al Jazeera’s Nisreen El-Shamayleh, reporting from neighbouring Jordan, said there were videos allegedly showing both children and adults in field hospitals, some of them suffocating, coughing and sweating.
‘We have been receiving reports that the doctors in the field hospitals do not have the right medication to treat these cases and that they were treating people with vinegar and water,’ she said.
Meanwhile, fighting in strife-hit country has fuelled a mass exodus of refugees into Iraq and risks exploding into a full-blown side conflict as Kurdish militias battled against al-Qaida-linked fighters in the northeast.
A U.N. team is in Syria investigating allegations that both rebels and army forces used poison gas in the past, one of the main disputes in international diplomacy over Syria.