Syrian state media has reported that ”terrorists fired rockets containing chemical materials on Khan al-Assal in Aleppo province.” Television reports showed ambulances carrying to wounded to a hospital in Aleppo city, along with both medical officials and local residents claiming that the attack had involved a “toxic gas”. According to Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Muqdad, 31 people had been killed in the attack. State media reports also suggested that around 100 people were injured.
The Russian foreign ministry appeared to confirm the reports, saying that it had “information” to suggest that Free Syrian Army rebels had used chemical weapons. Russia, which has been a key backer of President Assad’s government in Syria, also expressed concern that rebel control of chemical weapons “complicates further the situation in Syria.”
Free Syrian Army spokesman Louay Muqdad denied the accusations, and suggested that it was government forces who had deployed chemical weapons. “We have neither long-range missiles nor chemical weapons. And if we did, we wouldn’t use them against a rebel target,” he said, “We understand the army targeted Khan al-Assal using a long-range missile, and our initial information says it may have contained chemical weapons.”
Other reports, however, suggest that it was a government position which was hit. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that a ground-to-ground missile hit an army position in Khan al Assal, killing 16 soldiers and 10 civilians, but could not confirm whether or not chemical weapons had been involved….