Suspected gas attack in Syria kills over 55, mass injuries reported

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Aftermath of suspected chemical gas attack in Idlib , Syria on April 4, 2017 (REUTERS)
Bombs reportedly hit a hospital treating victims from a suspected chemical attack on the town of Khan Sheikhoun on Tuesday in Syria's rebel-held Idlib province, according to AFP.
The report emerged after a British-based war monitoring group said the suspected gas attack conducted by the Syrian government or Russian jets killed at least 58 people, including nine children, and injured dozens more.
The Syrian army could not immediately be reached for comment. Damascus has repeatedly denied using chemical weapons.
The attack caused many people to choke or faint, and some had foam coming out of their mouths, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, citing medical sources who described it as a sign of a gas attack.
The air strikes also wounded more than 60 people in the town of Khan Sheikhoun in rebel-held Idlib, the Observatory said.
According to Majd khalaf, a volunteer with the Syrian White Helmets, over 50 people, mostly women and children were killed in the attack and another 300 were injured.
Khalaf told The Jerusalem Post that planes “conducted many airstrikes that targeted civilian homes in the city of Khan Sheikhoun” from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m.
Upon arriving to the site of the attack, several members of Syrian Civil Defense teams “suffered from severe respiratory disorders, five team members were injured, three in a critical condition.” Despite their injuries Khalaf said that the Syrian Civil Defense teams in Khan Sheikhoun “in cooperation with the medical teams, provided first aid to the injured, washed their bodies with water, and removed their contaminated clothes.”
“All the injured were transported outside the city because there is no hospital that can accommodate the cases,” Khalaf added.
Activists in northern Syria circulated pictures on social media showing a reported victim with foam around his mouth, and rescue workers hosing down almost naked children squirming on the floor.
A Syrian military source said last week allegations that government forces were using chemical weapons were "devoid of truth."
Pro-opposition Orient News television said the attack on Tuesday killed 50 people and injured more than 150.
Later on Tuesday, Turkish presidential sources said Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed the suspected gas attack.
"President Erdogan touched on the use of chemical weapons against civilians in Idlib. President Erdogan said such inhumane attacks are unacceptable," a statement attributed to presidential sources said.
They said the two leaders had also emphasized the importance of maintaining the ongoing ceasefire in Syria. Staff and Anna Ahronheim contributed to this report.