58 people are thought to have died in a suspected gas attack in northern . Warning: You may find some of the images below distressing. An opposition monitoring group claims an airstrike was carried out either by the Syrian government or Russian warplanes.
It says 11 children are among the dead. Earlier: Reports suggest up to 35 people, many of them children, have been killed in a suspected in a town in ’s northern Idlib province.
The Idlib Media Centre said dozens of people died of suffocation, while the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group put the death toll at 35. Photos and video emerging from Khan Sheikhoun, in Idlib province, show children and adults limping and suffering from breathing difficulties. Some appear to be foaming at the mouth.
The opposition’s Civil Defence search-and-rescue group, which released photos showing paramedics washing down victims, has not published a casualty list. The activist-run Assi Press published video of paramedics carrying victims from the scene by a pick-up truck. The victims were stripped down to their underwear. Many appeared unresponsive.
Al Jazeera reports that Syrian government or Russian jets attacked the town of Khan Sheikhoun in rebel-held Idib in the morning. A member of the Syrian Civil Defence, a rescue group also known as the White Helmets, said: “For the past week, Idlib has been targeted by ongoing air strikes, and after yesterday’s attack, one of its main hospitals has been mostly destroyed and can no longer function.”
The province of Idlib is almost entirely controlled by the Syrian opposition. It is home to some 900,000 displaced Syrians, according to the United Nations. Rebels and opposition officials have expressed concerns that the government is planning to mount a concentrated attack on the crowded province. There was no comment from the government in Damascus or any international agency on the attack.
The Syrian Coalition, an opposition group based outside the country, said the planes fired missiles carrying poisonous gases, killing dozens of people, many of them women and children. The coalition described the attack as a “horrifying massacre”. A doctor said his hospital in Idlib province received three victims, all with narrow, pinpoint pupils that did not respond to light. Pinpoint pupils, breathing difficulties and foaming at the mouth are symptoms commonly associated with toxic gas exposure.