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Syria: rebels release prisoners after chemical attack

Syria: rebels release prisoners after chemical attack

Air strikes resumed as talks stalled, with at least 56 people killed on Saturday, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitor.

US President Donald Trump warned there would be a "big price to pay".

Iran and Russian Federation argue the over the past few years the militants several times launched poisonous gas attacks on the civilians as well as the army personnel, killing dozens and injuring more.

"President Trump was quick to call out Assad today, along with the Russian and Iranian governments, on Twitter".

He said there would be a "big price to pay".

White House security adviser Tom Bossert refused to rule out U.S. military action in response to the alleged chemical strike.

The attack came as Syrian government forces stepped up an eight-week long offensive against Douma, outside Damascus, the last stronghold controlled by hardline rebels from the Jaish al-Islam group.

The clamour for Western military intervention follows these alleged attacks is deafening, whipped up by the usual complement of neocon ideologues and regime change fanatics for whom every day is a cruise missile day.

As for Germany, it said the circumstances pointed to the Syrian regime.

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The suspected poison gas attack came nearly exactly a year after the US missile attack prompted by the Khan Sheikhoun deaths. Syria and Russia, Assad's ally in the fight, have denied carrying out a chemical attack, but the incident has drawn wide condemnation across the worldwide community.

Meanwhile, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said France strongly condemned attacks and bombings by Syrian government forces in the last 24 hours in Douma, adding they were a "gross violation of global humanitarian law".

A meeting on the attack was requested by the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Poland, the Netherlands, Sweden, Kuwait, Peru and Cote d'Ivoire.

Thus the Ghouta attack of 2013 occurred just as United Nations inspectors arrived in Damascus to investigate claims that Nusra Front were using chemical weapons, and at a point when the Syrian Arab Army and Hezbollah were winning key battles - al-Qusayr, Aleppo, Ghouta - with the momentum on the ground shifting in favour of Damascus.

Syria's White Helmets, who act as first responders in rebel-held areas of Syria, said the attack took place late on Saturday using "poisonous chlorine gas".

A statement from the Syrian government said "the army, which is advancing rapidly and with determination, does not need to use any kind of chemical agents".

The European Union is squarely laying the blame for the suspected poison gas attack with Syrian President Bashar Assad's government.

The images recalled earlier chemical weapons attacks on civilians in Syria, including those involving the nerve agent sarin. Headed by Swedish scientist Ake Sellstrom and comprised of experts from the World Health Organization and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), it is tasked with looking into possible use of chemical weapons following reports of an attack in the northern town of Khan al-Assal. On Sunday morning, a civilian committee taking part in the talks between the rebels and Russian Federation announced "a ceasefire and the resumption of talks today" hoping it will lead to a "final accord".

President Trump said the attack was meant to deter further Syrian use of illegal weapons.

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The bombing resulted in significant damage to the city's medical capacity, as "several medical points and ambulance teams" were targeted.

It is thought that the number of people who lose their lives as a result of the attack could rise, as it is hard to know exact figures.

Syria has repeatedly denied it had anything to do with the attack and denies it has any chemical weapons.

Britain's foreign office called on for an worldwide probe into the reports of a chemical attack in Douma.

'These latest reports must urgently be investigated and the global community must respond.

Saudi Arabia voiced "deep concern" and condemned the chemical attack.

Pope Francis on Sunday joined the worldwide censure: "Nothing, nothing can justify the use of such devices of extermination against defenseless people and populations", the pope told thousands of people gathered in St Peter's Square.

Eastern Ghouta, a besieged area on the outskirts of Damascus which is home to some 400,000 people, has witnessed deadly violence over the past few months, with foreign-sponsored militants launching mortar attacks on the Syrian capital in the face of an imminent humiliating defeat.

"Pray for political and military leaders to choose the other path, that of negotiation, the only one that can bring peace that is not that of death and destruction", the Pope said.

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