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Dozens treated for breathing problem after Ghouta raids
March 09, 2018
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Hammuriyeh: Dozens of people were treated for breathing difficulties after air strikes slammed into Syria’s Eastern Ghouta late on Wednesday, a monitor said, with medics reporting symptoms consistent with a toxic attack.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 60 people in the besieged rebel enclave were left struggling to breathe after air strikes and barrel bombs hit the towns of Saqba and Hammuriyeh.

Doctors at one medical facility in Eastern Ghouta said they treated at least 29 patients with signs of exposure to chlorine, according to the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS).

SAMS is a medical charity that supports hospitals in Eastern Ghouta and other rebel-controlled zones in Syria.

It did not report any deaths but said it was likely that more victims were being treated at other clinics.

“Due to chlorine attack in #EastGhouta, patients are struggling w/symptoms such as severe dyspnea, sweating, congestion of mucus membranes, severe runny nose, wheezing & conjunctival erythema,” SAMS wrote on social media late on Wednesday.

“The emotional trauma from these attacks can not be measured.”

Dyspnea is shortness of breath. Conjunctival erythema is redness of the eye caused by dilation of the blood vessels.

AFP’s correspondent in Hammuriyeh saw more than 40 people on the roof of a four-storey building late on Wednesday, trying to get fresh air after strikes on their neighbourhood.

Parents had stripped their children down and were spraying them with water, fearing toxic substances had got into their clothes.

Rescue workers arrived and transported the residents off the roof to a nearby medical facility even as bombing raged around them.

“I’m going to suffocate,” two children screamed repeatedly as they were carried down.

Eastern Ghouta is facing a blistering offensive by Russian-backed government forces and allied militiamen, who are seeking to clear out rebels from the capital’s outskirts.

Agence France-Presse

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