Russia on Sunday accused insurgents in Syria of bombarding the city of Aleppo with shells filled with chlorine gas, poisoning 46 people, including eight children it said were being treated in hospital.
Russia’s Ministry of Defense said in a statement the chemical attack had been launched from an area in the Idlib de-escalation zone controlled by Nusra Front militants and that it planned to talk to Turkey about the incident since Ankara was a guarantor of how the armed opposition there upheld a ceasefire.
“According to our preliminary information, confirmed in particular by symptoms of poisoning among the victims, the shells used to bombard residential areas of Aleppo were filled with chlorine (gas),” Russian Major-General Igor Konashenkov said in the statement.
Shelling by insurgents wounded more than 100 people in a suspected toxic gas attack in Syria’s Aleppo, which a health official described as the first such assault in the city.
The shells caused dozens of people breathing problems on Saturday night in Aleppo, while government shelling killed nine people in a village in Idlib, a monitoring group said.
State news agency SANA said on Sunday 107 people were injured in Aleppo after militants hit three districts with projectiles containing gases that caused choking.
It marks the highest such casualty toll in Aleppo since government forces and their allies clawed back the city from rebels nearly two years ago.
Rebel officials denied using chemical weapons and accused the Damascus government of trying to frame them.