Syria Government and Rebels Blame One Another for Gas Attack

On Saturday, both sides of the bloody civil war in Syria said a rural village had fallen victim to a poison chemical gas attack. The assault on Kfar Zeita reportedly left scores of people injured amidst an effort by the international community to rid Syria of its chemical weapons

It remains unclear what exactly took place on Friday in the village held by rebels in the province of Hama about 125 to the north of the capital of Damascus. It might be some time before anyone really knows what happened and who was behind the attack.

However, videos that have appeared online posted by activists with the rebels in Kfar Zeita echo images from earlier that sparked an outcry internationally. Men, women and children pale-faced, were gasping for breath at a make shift hospital brought back memories of the attack last year in a suburb of Damascus.

The images suggest some type of poison afflicted the people, yet it is another incident shrouded in mystery and growing controversy where both the government and the rebels are blaming one another.

The Syrian National Coalition, the largest opposition group that is Western-backed, said the attack of poison gas had injured dozens, though the gas used was not identified by the group.

The Syrian Observatory on Human Rights, based in Britain and an activist group that has a network of volunteers on the ground, said the attack took place during an air raid that had left thick smoke over the village. The network of volunteers reported people suffering from breathing problems and suffocation following the attack.

Syrian television, operated by the state, said the attack was carried out by members from Nursa Front, the al-Qaeda rebel group. The television station said the group has used chlorine gas that killed two people while injuring over 100. The television station would not say how it was able to confirm the use of chlorine gas.

Chlorine in the U.S. is one of the most common chemicals manufactured and is used to purify water. However, in gas form, it is deadly. Its use was banned in 1925 by the Geneva Protocol, which was signed by Syria.

The report said two other chemical attacks were being planned by the al-Qaeda group for Wadi Deif and another location in Hama.

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