The longstanding claims one or both sides in the Syrian conflict have been using chemical weapons gained traction on Monday after the opposition claimed gas had been used in an offensive against the eastern Damascus suburb of Harasta.
France’s Le Monde newspaper also published on Monday a first- hand account from a journalist claiming he and his photographer had been gassed and had evidence of the banned weapons’ use in Syria.
“Last night we started getting reports the regime used light doses of Sarin gas in the countryside of Damascus. We have at least two villages where light doses of Sarin gas were used. We know of at least five confirmed deaths due to suffocation, due to the use of Sarin gas. We have over 200 cases of wounded people who are in dire need of help,” said the Syrian National Coalition’s Khaled Saleh.
The problem, say investigators, is that obtaining samples as proof is tricky because other chemical agents such as tear gas are being used, and once mixed the results are hard to obtain. Some speculate that other agents are being used deliberately to mask the Sarin deployment.