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'Chemical attack' in Syria kills at least 35 people

05 April 2017

The Syrian government has repeatedly denied using any chemical weapons and in turn, has accused the rebels of using banned weapons.

He added: "The attack we are discussing right now is bigger in scale than many other attacks in the past few years, and it's so far the biggest since the one in 2013, which means that the regime is in a way increasing the scale of the attacks in order to test the waters to see if the worldwide community will do anything to address what's happening inside Syria".

August 20, 2012: U.S. President Barack Obama says the use of chemical weapons would be a "red line" that would change his calculus on intervening in the civil war and have "enormous consequences".

The attack, believed to be by Syrian government jets, killed at least 58 people including 11 children under the age of eight in the northwestern province of Idlib, a war monitor and medical workers said.

The group said the village of Khan Sheikhoun to the south of Idlib had initially been hit before strikes on the White Helmets emergency services centre in Khan Sheikhoun and the Al-Rahme hospital.

August 31, 2013: Obama says he will go to Congress for authorization to carry out punitive strikes against the Syrian government, but appears to lack the necessary support in the legislature. "Israel calls on the global community to fulfill promises made in 2013, and to remove chemical weapons from Syria", Netanyahu said.

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February 28, 2017: Russian Federation, a stalwart ally of the Syrian government, and China veto a U.N. Security Council resolution authorizing sanctions against the Syrian government for chemical weapons use. Planes carried out the suspected attack that killed several people including children in the Syrian town.

Claims of chemical weapons attacks, particularly the use of the chlorine agent, are not uncommon in Syria's conflict.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitoring group, said military aircraft hit near the hospital but could not confirm whether anyone was hurt or killed. One analyst said the symptoms resembled the notorious Ghouta attack of 2013 that crossed President Barack Obama's rhetorical "red line" against WMD.

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons says its Fact Finding Mission "is in the process of gathering and analyzing information from all available sources".

The man who goes by the name of Abu Hamdu says the medical point has been leveled and five rescue vehicles were damaged.

He says warplanes "targeted us after the attack". The High Negotiations Committee, an umbrella opposition group, claimed the death toll could be as high as 100. The Syrian government has allegedly used sarin gas on previous occasions.

'Chemical attack' in Syria kills at least 35 people