Syria chemical weapons concerns spill into Turkey

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Syria chemical weapons concerns spill into Turkey

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The possibility of chemical weapons being used in Syria’s conflict is causing concern across the border in Turkey.

While US President Barack Obama describes their use as “crossing a line” and Damascus claims rebels are deploying them and then blaming the government, people living in nearby Turkey are worried about the condition of wounded Syrians.

“Every time an ambulance drives by, people become concerned and distressed and begin asking how the patient inside was wounded or killed. They call me to ask whether it was a chemical weapons incident. Nowadays, I receive a lot of similar phone calls from residents,” said Mehmet Ziya Kirk, Chief of Cumhuriyet District in Hacipasa village.

Turkey’s forensic medicine institute is testing blood samples from injured Syrians to determine whether they have been the victims of chemical weapons attacks.

The move comes after Syrians complaining of breathing problems were admitted to hospital in Hatay province along the border with Syria on April 29.