Syrian Attack Suggests Exposure to Toxic Nerve Agent

Syria President Bashar Assad

Even by the horrors of the Syrian civil war, what happened Tuesday will stand out as a crime against humanity. More than 50 civilians, including women and children, were killed and about 300 others wounded by what appears to be nerve gas — a weapon banned by the civilized world.

The attack came five days after the Trump administration signaled that the Syrian dictator would not be held accountable for the slaughter of his people.

Despite the appeasing change in policy, Mr. Trump blamed Tuesday’s attack on President Obama — calling it a “consequence of the past administration’s weakness.”

The attack on the village of Khan Sheikhoun bears the telltale signs consistent with a chemical weapon inflicted on civilians, apparently including infants.

We can’t independently confirm that this was a chemical attack, but many of the victims have no visible wounds, as you’d normally expect from an air strike or missile. Survivors pant and gasp for air — some of them foaming at the mouth — and a medic demonstrated how his patients’ pupils don’t respond to light.

“That all strongly suggests exposure to a toxic nerve agent,” the medic says.

 

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