United Nations probing alleged chlorine gas attacks in Syria

A man carries a child as he flees from reported Syrian air strikes in rebel-held Eastern Ghouta

Civilians flee from the scene of an airstrike attack in a rebel-held suburb near Damascus, Syria, Monday, Feb. 5.

It was a rare USA strike against forces that support Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime. It was reportedly struck on Sunday as Syrian government forces, supported by the Russian Air Force, intensified its airstrikes in the region.

Shortly after taking office a year ago, French President Emmanuel Macron said chemical attacks in Syria would be a "red line" for France.

SANA labeled it an "aggression" and a "new massacre".

The United Nations has called for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire.

The Syrian American Medical Society said 11 people were treated for chlorine gas poisoning in hospitals in Idlib, and at least 28 civilians were killed during airstrikes that targeted areas near Damascus, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, Bloomberg reported.

Russian Federation proposed a rival press statement eliminating references to Thursday's attack and to "the unacceptable level of violence in Syria, particularly in eastern Ghouta".

"Now the rescue workers are searching for my second daughter but can't find her".

Tuesday's toll of 80 dead was "the highest civilian toll in Syria in almost nine months, and one of the bloodiest days for Eastern Ghouta in several years", Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP.

The deadliest raids hit Beit Sawa and Hammuriyeh, the Observatory said.

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"We're very proud of our positions here, and we want to make sure everybody knows it", said Maj.

Eastern Ghouta and Idlib, a northern province where violence also flared this week, are both so-called de-escalation zones under a deal a year ago meant to pave the way towards an end to the conflict.

But the bombardment has increased in recent days, including with suspected chlorine-filled munitions.

The Security Council unanimously voted in 2015 to create a mission operated by the United Nations and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to investigate those responsible for poison gas attacks.

The watchdog has been tasked with establishing "the facts surrounding allegations of the use of toxic chemicals", noting "grave concern" over at least two reports of chlorine being used by the regime this week.

The latest casualties in Ghouta, on paper also a de-escalation zone, came as Washington threatened military action over the reported use of chemical weapons in the enclave, which regime and allied forces have besieged since 2013.

A Twitter account affiliated with Turkey's so-called Operation Olive Branch in Syria claimed Tuesday that forces affiliated with the Democratic Union Party-a leading Syrian Kurdish political party that commands the armed and US -backed People's Protection Units (YPG)-fired a mortar shell containing toxic chlorine gas at Turkey-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) insurgents in northern Afrin, injuring up to 20.

In July, the Syrian army denied an accusation that more than 30 people were suffocated following a chemical attack in Ain Tarma, east of Damascus.

Iran, meanwhile, maintains a significant military presence in Syria, bolstered with fighters from Iranian terrorist proxy organizations, such as Lebanon-based Hezbollah.

The White Helmets said they recorded 55 deaths on Tuesday, while many more were trapped under destroyed buildings. The target was supposedly a research facility west of Damascus.

Ambassador Ismail Sefa Yuceer, who was speaking in an exclusive interview with The Point, made it clear that Ankara has no wish to take territory from another country, and that control of Afrin Region will be handed over to the Syrian regime at the end of the operation.

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