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Reports of Chlorine Gas That Targeted Civilians in Aleppo

August 13, 2016

By Hady Al-Khatib

Translations: Русский

On August 10th and 11th, videos and photographs posted to social media channels of the Civil Defense Team in Aleppo, Aleppo Media Center, “Basel Aslan” Hospital, and Al-An news, as well as a video report from BBC, alleged the use of chlorine barrel bomb by the Syrian government in Aleppo in an area called Zabadiyah, which resulted of civilian casualties, as well as many injured.

chlorineattackaleppo

[Location was provided by media activist Shamel Al Ahmad]

In this article we will go through the different open source materials that were shared online to understand as much details as possible from what happened at this incident. The materials show rescue efforts after the attack, victims, and the debris of the munition used.

Victims

Below are four videos from Aleppo showing victims. The first video published by “Basel Aslan hospital” on their Facebook page. It was captured by the security cameras of the hospital and then by a video camera.

Screen Shot 2016-08-12 at 10.36.59 PM

We can see the first moments when injured men, women and children started to get inside the hospital to be treated. The security camera documented the date as we see below (In red) which confirms the date of the incident.

firstmoments

Here you can find the full video from the hospital.

More information about the incident were posted on the hospital’s facebook page as shown below:

 

Screen Shot 2016-08-12 at 3.18.26 PM

The second verified video from BBC was taken in the same hospital.

It included an interview with a medic at the hospital who said to BBC: “We had a number of casualties today, 30 minutes ago. A lot of them resulting from chlorine bombing on this area. When we examined these casualties, we realised it was due to chlorine. There are all ages, we have elderly people, kids, children. All ages”.

Comparing both videos from “Basel Aslan” hospital and from BBC we found matches which verify the videos were filmed in the same hospital.

Screen Shot 2016-08-12 at 12.03.29 PM

Photo from BBC

 

firstmoments

Photo from Basel Aslan hospital which shows the same male entering the hospital

 

Another photo from hospital which shows the other male from the BBC video

Another photo from hospital which shows the other male from the BBC video

 

Photo from BBC which shows a girl being treated

Photo from BBC which shows a girl being treated

 

Photo from the Facebook page of the hospital showing the girl in the same position.

Photo from the Facebook page of the hospital showing the girl in the same position.

Another video of rescue efforts showing victims was posted on the local YouTube channel of Aleppo Media Center. It shows the child Mouhammad who died as a result of the chlorine attack.

One of the injured was interviewed and said that: “I was going to work, then air strikes happened. The strike was chemical as we smelled gas. Children were crying, our eyes were tearing. I had breathing difficulties. Some women had breathing difficulties too. The smell was stronger than a normal gas.”

Interview with one of the victims

Interview with one of the victims

Another injured in the hospital said: “We were sitting, then we felt that a barrel bomb was dropped, We we went there to see what happened. We smelled a strong gas which was similar to chlorine which was the cause of the Zabadiyah Neighborhood families (Women, children and men) having breathing difficulties.”

Interview with one of the victims

Interview with one of the victims

The fourth video that shows victims was posted by Al-An official YouTube channel.

The reporter in the video also claims the casualties of a woman and her two children as a result of the chlorine barrel bomb. He also claims that many were injured and had breathing difficulties, and that 30 of them were children. Fuad who was interviewed in the Al-An video was one of them:

“We were targeted by barrel bomb, I couldn’t see much because of the dust. The barrel bomb appeared to contain gas as we smelled it. We were about to faint so they asked me to wash my face but it didn’t help. “

Screen Shot 2016-08-12 at 11.57.24 PM

Hamza Al-Khatib who is the manager of Al-quds hospital said in an interview in the Al-An video: “We’ve mainly noticed breathing symptoms, cough, tears in the eyes
It was clear that poisoned gas was used. The smell of the victim’s clothes were very clear, it even affected the team at the hospital.”

Screen Shot 2016-08-12 at 3.45.05 PM

Interview with the manager of Al-quds hospital

 

Abu Ahmad, pharmacist from the neighborhood claims to witness the attack in the location of the photo below.

Screen Shot 2016-08-12 at 3.51.45 PM

Samer Hijazi from a group that documents the use of chemical weapons attack in Aleppo said that she documented the details of 70 victims who went to the field hospital and that they are continuing to document information about others.

Screen Shot 2016-08-12 at 3.56.59 PM

Remnants of the bomb

Another video was posted on the YouTube channel of the Civil Defence Team – Aleppo. It shows remnants of the barrel bomb which was used to deliver the chlorine gas.

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A volunteer at the civil defense claims in the video that the barrel bomb was dropped by Syrian government helicopter. He said that one of the four barrel bombs contained the chlorine gas.

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“Two children and their mother have been reported as dying as a result of this attack. 7 were injured and had breathing difficulties. As you see we are taking out the remnants of the barrel bombs that had the poisoned material so children don’t play with it.”

Photos of the children Sama, and Mohammad were shared online by Zaher Sahloul (@sahloul) who is the president of Syrian American Medical Society, SAMS.

twitterzaher

Other photos we took from the civil defense team which shows the remnants of the barrel bombs used:

14002316_1081505865274037_1542164969_o 13977857_1081505925274031_1522287209_o

It is notable that the remains of the barrel bomb would indicate it deviates from the two designs of chemical barrel bombs previously observed in the conflict. The initial design of chlorine barrel bomb simply placed a large chlorine cylinder inside the barrel bomb casing that has been widely adopted by the Syrian air force (details here). The later design of chlorine barrel bomb was described by the OPCW, and used smaller gas cylinder and flasks containing potassium permanganate, which left distinct purple residue in the areas attacked. In this latest attack the cylinders recovered from the scene of the attack are not consistent with either design, and the outer casing of the bomb is too badly damaged to asses if it uses the same casing as other chlorine barrel bombs.

Depiction of a chemical barrel bomb (Source: OPCW/The Trench)

Depiction of a chemical barrel bomb (Source: OPCW/The Trench)

Another organisation who confirmed the attack was SAMS foundation. They published a press release about it in August 11th.

Special thanks to FocusAleppo group for helping with this article.

Hady Al-Khatib

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4 Comments

  1. mikezulu

    there is not a single proof to me. only several persons show signs of the so called mediterranean syndrom and hysterical reactians as it is common in this place of the world.
    futhermore i am not willing to believe anything written/posted people with the name “al-KHALID” spreading jihadist propaganda by calling the “white helmets” a civil defense force.
    they are not but posing with jihadist on videos beheading people.
    there is nothing to me making me believe this paliwood-style chlorine drama news.
    jihadists are bombing free western aleppo for month with “hell-canons” and nobody cares.

    thx

    mike
    (from islamized germany thx merkel go putin)

    Reply
    • Hiper

      The rebels are fighting the whole Assad army and the Russian airforce and
      soldiers from Lebanon, Iran and Iraq… and you point a finger at them for using self
      made canons? You got to be joking.

      Reply
  2. Francois Labelle

    I hope the responsible party get their day in the Hague for war crimes…including Rasputin and his criminal mafia cabal permeating his government and army!!

    Reply
  3. Efroim Rosenberg

    Can someone fix the grammar in this article and change “materials” to “material”…

    Reply

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