“As for those peoples that warred against Yerushalayim, Hashem will smite them with this plague: Their flesh shall rot away while they stand on their feet; their eyes shall rot away in their sockets; and their tongues shall rot away in their mouths.” Zechariah 14:12 (The Israel Bible™)
The Syrian government is suspected of committing another chemical weapons attack in the city of Douma, located just northeast of Damascus and one of the last remaining rebel-strongholds in the war-torn country.
According to various reports, a barrel bomb containing poisonous chemicals was dropped on civilians near a hospital in eastern Ghouta, and a second attack with “mixed agents” such as nerve gas had hit a nearby building.
The United States and Russia traded barbs with each other over the alleged chemical weapons attack in which at least 40 people have been killed.
“Russia, with its unwavering support for the regime, ultimately bears responsibility for these brutal attacks, targeting of countless civilians, and the suffocation of Syria’s most vulnerable communities with chemical weapons,” said US State Department spokeswoman, Heather Nauert.
Russia has used its veto power in the UN Security Council to stymie any attempt by the United States and its allies to rein in the Syrian regime.
“By shielding its ally Syria, Russia has breached its commitments to the United Nations as a framework guarantor,” Nauert continued. “The United States calls on Russia to end this unmitigated support immediately and work with the international community to prevent further, barbaric chemical weapons attacks.”
Predictably, the Russian government refuses to hold the Syrian regime responsible.
“We strongly deny these claims and announce our readiness to send Russian experts in radiation, chemical and biological defense to Douma after its liberation from terrorists to gather evidence, which would prove that the allegations on the chemical weapons use were staged,” said Maj. Gen. Yuri Yevtushenko, commander of the Russian Center for Syria reconciliation.
However, according to the Syrian American Medical Society, a nonprofit medical relief organization, all signs point to a chemical weapons attack.
“Civil Defense volunteers have reported more than 42 casualties found dead in their homes, with similar clinical symptoms of cyanosis and corneal burns,” the organization said in a statement.
“Civil defense volunteers were unable to evacuate the bodies due to the intensity of the odor and the lack of protective equipment,” the statement continued. “The reported symptoms indicate that the victims suffocated from the exposure to toxic chemicals, most likely an organophosphate element.”
Noting that the Syrian regime’s prior use of chemical weapons was “not in dispute,” Nauert said that the international community must respond if the attack is verified to have taken place.
“These reports, if confirmed, are horrifying and demand an immediate response by the international community.”
For its part, the Syrian state news agency, SANA insisted that one of the rebel groups was making “chemical attack fabrications in an exposed and failed attempt to obstruct advances by the Syrian Arab army.”