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Daesh uses ‘chemical gas’ against Syrian rebels — Turkish media

By Reuters - Nov 27,2016 - Last updated at Nov 27,2016

A fighter from the Syrian pro-government forces mans a riffle inside a damaged house in the recently recaptured village of Joubah during an offensive towards the area of Al Bab in Aleppo province on Friday (AFP photo)

ISTANBUL — The Daesh terror group militants have fired a rocket in northern Syria that caused symptoms of “chemical gas” exposure in 22 Syrian rebels, state media cited Turkey’s military as saying on Sunday.

The attack targeted Turkey-backed rebels who have for days been besieging Daesh-controlled town of Al Bab, a major goal in Ankara’s “Euphrates Shield” operation to push the extremists away from the Syrian side of the Turkish border.

According to the state-run Anadolu agency, the Daesh rocket attack occurred in the Haliliye area. The army did not specify where the attack had taken place.

“Twenty-two rebels were observed to have symptoms of being exposed to chemical gas in their eyes and bodies as a result of the rocket fired by Daesh,” media reports quoted the army statement as saying.

The rebels were transferred to a hospital in Turkey’s border province of Kilis on suspicion of chemical poisoning after complaining of constant sickness and severe headaches, Hurriyet newspaper reported on its website.

Turkish AFAD emergency relief teams conducted various tests on them to check for traces of chemical, other media reported.

In the last 24 hours around Al Bab, Turkish jets have destroyed four Daesh targets in the Anifah region, and one Turkey-backed Syrian rebel has been killed and 14 wounded in clashes, the military said.

On Thursday, three Turkish soldiers were killed in an air strike in Syria, which the army said it believed was carried out by the Syrian air force. It happened on the first anniversary of Turkey’s downing of a Russian jet over Syria and raised fears of an escalation in the conflict.

After the air strike, Dogan news agency said on Saturday Turkey deployed low-altitude air defence systems with Stinger missiles to Gaziantep province on its Syrian border.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan discussed the air strike with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Friday. They spoke again late on Saturday about “Syria and efforts to resolve the humanitarian drama in Aleppo”, sources in Erdogan’s office said.

Russia is Syrian President Bashar Assad’s main military backer. Turkey backs rebels fighting to oust him.


Ankara and Moscow only restored ties, which had been damaged by November’s jet incident, in August. While they continue to pursue conflicting goals in Syria, Turkey has of late been less openly critical of Assad than in the past.

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