Assad Denies Attacking Civilians
While Syrian rebels accuse the regime of Bashar al-Assad of killing hundreds of men, women and children with chemical weapons last night, the Assad regime's official broadcast network has a different account of the night's events.
"Units of our heroic army destroyed terrorist dens and concentrations in several villages and towns in the rural area of Damascus and caused them casualties, both dead and wounded," the station said.
A senior Syrian element added that the attacks took place in the villages of Jubar, Arabeen and Zamalka.
Two of the three locations cited correspond with the locations mentioned by pro-opposition groups that claim the Assad regime targeted civilians with poison gas.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said intense shelling hit the eastern suburbs of Zamalka, Arbeen and Ein Tarma.
It says "tens of people" were killed, while the Local Coordination Committees said hundreds of people were killed or injured.
Al Jazeera writes that such different figures "are common in the immediate aftermaths of attacks in Syria," and that the reports could not be independently confirmed.
Al Arabiya says the number of dead is "at least 640."
Meanwhile, The Arab League called Wednesday on U.N. chemical weapons inspectors now inside Syria to immediately visit the site of the incidents.
Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi urged the inspectors in a statement to “go immediately to Eastern Ghouta to see the reality of the situation and investigate the circumstances of this crime.”