World Bulletin / News Desk
The British government has urged the international community to respond to the latest reports of a potential chemical attack in Syria and to launch an "urgent investigation" into the incident on Sunday.
A suspected chemical attack Saturday struck Douma, the last rebel stronghold in eastern Ghouta, according to a local civil defense agency.
“These are very concerning reports of a chemical weapons attack with significant number of casualties, which if correct, are further proof of [Bashar al-]Assad’s brutality against innocent civilians and his backers’ callous disregard for international norms,” said a statement from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office .
The White Helmets said in a post on their social media account that regime forces had struck targets in the Damascus suburb’s Douma district in an attack, which appeared to make use of poison gas, that left at least 40 civilians dead. Other reports have mentioned a higher death toll.
“An urgent investigation is needed and the international community must respond. We call on the Assad regime and its backers, Russia and Iran, to stop the violence against innocent civilians,” the Foreign Office statement added.
On Feb. 24, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2401 which called for a month-long cease-fire in Syria -- especially in Eastern Ghouta -- to allow the delivery of humanitarian aid.
Despite the resolution, the regime and its allies early this month launched a major ground offensive backed by Russian air power aimed at capturing opposition-held parts of eastern Ghouta.
Home to some 400,000 people, the suburb has remained the target of a crippling regime siege for the last five years.
Earlier this month, a UN commission of inquiry released a report accusing the regime of committing war crimes in eastern Ghouta, including the use of chemical weapons against civilians.Last Mod: 08 Nisan 2018, 14:09