Donate today to keep Global Voices strong!

Watch the video: We Are Global Voices!

We report on 167 countries. We translate in 35 languages. We are Global Voices. Watch the video »

Over 800 of us from all over the world work together to bring you stories that are hard to find by yourself. But we can’t do it alone. Even though most of us are volunteers, we still need your help to support our editors, our technology, outreach and advocacy projects, and our community events.

Donate now »
GlobalVoices in Learn more »

Assad Accused of Dropping Chemical Bombs on Damascus Suburb Al Ghouta

Syrian opposition activists accuse Bashar Al Assad's forces of killing hundreds of people, mostly children and women, reportedly with nerve gas, in the Ghouta region, east of Damascus, Syria, on the morning of August, 21, 2013.

Horrible footage of dying (and dead) children are plastered across social media, calling for the world to break its silence on the atrocities being committed against civilians in Syria.

On Greater Syria, Enas, a Syrian in Amman, Jordan, writes:

At around 3:00 a.m. in the morning, regime’s forces fired rockets with chemical heads on Zamallaka and on Al Zainia area in Ein Turma. Jobar district was slightly affected by as the gases were driven to it by the wind. A big number of civilians were consequently subjected to the gases, leading to the martyrdom of tens of them. Up until now, primary reports from makeshift hospital of Arbeen (where victims were taken) report 41 martyrs fell (22 children, 11 women, 8 men), 5 other martyrs were taken to Douma, 40 martyrs documented by videos in Saqba, and at least 20 martyrs inside Ein Turma itself. Most activists report that death toll amounts to more than a 100 up until now. Many of the martyrs are children, seen in videos below suffocating to death.

Enas's post provides links to photographs and videos [Warning: Graphic] showing the unfolding tragedy.

Enas adds:

Symptoms of the patients include nausea, hallucinations, suffocation, hard coughing, high blood pressure, seizures, during affection and post-death gargle, etc. Still, no clue of the chemical weapon/toxic gas that was used by the regime’s forces to target the innocent civilians.

Families are fleeing the targeted areas to Saqba and several other nearby areas as reported by activists there as they are utterly horrified. Activists also report the lack of Atropine that is usually used to treat civilians during chemical attacks by the regime; oxygen tanks are not available too. Medics are only using vinegar to the mouth and nose and are washing the bodies of the victims by water.

The number of those killed has been on the rise since. Hala Droubi offers another toll:

And others put the toll at over 635 so far:

Mohannad shares a photograph from a field hospital in Daraya, where he says there isn't room to treat more of those injured:

And he challenges the media to break the wall of silence on atrocities being committed in Syria:

Enas shares her pain:

She adds that the bombing followed the victims, taken to nearby Erbin, for treatment:

Assad's official Syrian news agency said the allegations were designed to derail an ongoing United Nations (UN) inquiry. This week, an UN inspection team arrived in Syria to start an investigation into charges of chemical weapons, which each side has accused the other of numerous times in the two-year conflict.

For more on the tragedy, follow the hashtag #CWMassacre on Twitter.

Correction: The headline in an earlier version of this article was “Assad Wages Chemical Warfare on Al Ghouta, a Damascus Suburb” and attributed the reported nerve gas attack to activists, instead of Syrian opposition forces. The second last paragraph, “Assad's official Syrian news agency said the allegations ..” was not in the earlier version.

World regions