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Syrian Opposition Accuses Assad of Chemical Attack

Syrian opposition activists claim Assad’s forces used chemical weapons in the Jobar neighborhood of Damascus on Thursday.
By Elad Benari, Canada
First Publish: 4/4/2014, 9:00 PM

UN experts inspect site of chemical attack
UN experts inspect site of chemical attack
Reuters

Syrian opposition activists have once again accused President Bashar Al-Assad’s forces of using chemical weapons, Reuters reported Friday.

The alleged attack took place in the Jobar neighborhood of Damascus on Thursday. The opposition showed footage of an apparently unconscious man lying on a bed and being treated by medics.

The footage could not be independently verified due to security restrictions on reporting in Syria, noted Reuters.

Activists from the opposition Jobar Revo group posted the video on YouTube of a man being treated with oxygen and being injected by medics. A voice off-screen said Thursday’s date and that there was “a poison attack in Jobar.”

Another opposition group, the Syrian Revolutionary Coordinators Union, said that all those affected by the gas were “in a good condition.” There has been on-and-off fighting between rebels and government forces in Jobar this year.

The claims come after a letter, dated March 25, was circulated by the United Nations this week. In the letter, Bashar Ja’afari, Syria’s UN envoy, said his government had intercepted communications between “terrorists” that showed a man named Abu Nadir was secretly distributing gas masks in the rebel-held Jobar area.

Ja’afari said in the letter addressed to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the U.N. Security Council that this information “confirms that armed terrorist groups are preparing to use toxic gas in Jobar quarter and other areas, in order to accuse the Syrian government of having committed such an act of terrorism,” according to Reuters.

“The authorities also intercepted another communication between two other terrorists, one of whom is named Abu Jihad,” Ja’afari said. “In that communication, Abu Jihad indicates that toxic gas will be used and asked those who are working with him to supply protective masks.”

An international operation to destroy Syria’s stockpile of deadly chemicals is currently underway. The operation is a joint Russian-U.S. plan that was endorsed by the UN Security Council in September. 

The resolution was a last-minute measure to prevent an American strike on Syria in retaliation for a previous chemical weapons attack in August that left hundreds dead.

Damascus has until June 30 to eliminate its chemical weapons program completely, but has already failed to meet several deadlines to move all of its declared chemical substances and precursors out of the country.

Recently, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry warned Assad he could face consequences for failing to live up to international agreements on the destruction of his chemical arsenal.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)