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Technological Hazard – CBRNE, Chemical Warfare Event/Attack (chlorine gas): Syria


Published Date: 2016-08-02 21:08:43
Subject: PRO/EDR> Chemical weapons – Syria: chlorine gas
Archive Number: 20160802.4389343

CBRNE in Syria on Tuesday, 02 August, 2016 at 21:08:43 UTC

Middle-East – Syria  | Idlib Governorate, Saraqeb
Location:  35°51’49.0″N 36°48’02.0″E

Date: 2 August 2016
Source: BBC [edited]

A helicopter has dropped barrels suspected to contain chlorine gas on a town in northern Syria, a doctor and rescuers have said.

About 30 people were affected by the attack, which took place in Saraqeb in Idlib province, near where a Russian military transport helicopter was shot down by rebels hours earlier. It is not clear who was responsible.

Both sides in Syria’s civil war have been accused of, and denied, using chemical agents.

On Monday [1 Aug 2016], a Russian military helicopter was shot down near Saraqeb. Dr Abdel Aziz Bareeh, who works in Saraqeb, told the BBC that 2 barrels of chlorine gas were dropped on the town late on Monday. [It is not clear whether it was by the same helicopter that was shot down. – Mod.TG].

“We know it’s chlorine, because we were hit by it in the past, and we are familiar with its odour and symptoms. We have 28 confirmed cases, mostly women and children.”

Separately, a spokesman for Syria Civil Defence told Reuters that 33 people had been affected in the attack. The organisation of volunteer rescue workers said it suspected the barrels contained chlorine but were unable to confirm it [Apparently, according to other sources, it has been confirmed as chlorine. – Mod.TG].

Chlorine is a common industrial chemical, but its use in weapons is banned by the Chemical Weapons Convention [It appears the perpetrator of this crime is either unaware of the forbidden nature of the weapon or has total disregard for the Chemical Weapons Convention ruling. – Mod.TG].

Symptoms typical of chlorine poisoning include sore eyes, irritated skin, breathing difficulties and bloody foaming from the mouth.

Meanwhile clashes are continuing near Aleppo, where rebels have launched an offensive to break a government siege.

Communicated by:

Date: 2 August 2016
Source: CNN [edited]

In the Saraqeb attack, the gas, which the statement said smelled like chlorine, caused 30 cases of breathing difficulties, the Idlib Civil Defence — also known as the White Helmets — said.

CNN has spoken with a doctor in Saraqeb who said he treated some of those affected by the attack, who said their symptoms were consistent with those “of someone who has suffered from chlorine poisoning.”

A photographer who took photos of the injured for the White Helmets told CNN that victims were suffering symptoms such as watering eyes, spasms, sweating, coughing and difficulty breathing.

Communicated by:

How chlorine works
– The extent of poisoning caused by chlorine depends on the amount of chlorine a person is exposed to, how the person was exposed, and the length of time of the exposure.
– When chlorine gas comes into contact with moist tissues such as the eyes, throat, and lungs, an acid is produced that can damage these tissues.

Immediate signs and symptoms of chlorine exposure
– During or immediately after exposure to dangerous concentrations of chlorine, the following signs and symptoms may develop:
– Blurred vision
– Burning pain, redness, and blisters on the skin if exposed to gas. Skin injuries similar to frostbite can occur if it is exposed to liquid chlorine
– Burning sensation in the nose, throat, and eyes
– Coughing
– Chest tightness
– Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath. These may appear immediately if high concentrations of chlorine gas are inhaled, or they may be delayed if low concentrations of chlorine gas are inhaled.
– Fluid in the lungs (pulmonary edema) that may be delayed for a few hours [This may be what was referred to in the articles as “bloody foaming from the mouth.” – Mod.TG]
– Nausea and vomiting
– Watery eyes
– Wheezing

Long-term health effects
– Long-term complications may occur after breathing in high concentrations of chlorine. Complications are more likely to be seen in people who develop severe health problems such as fluid in the lungs (pulmonary edema) following the initial exposure.”

Portions of this comment have been extracted from: – Mod.TG

A HealthMap/ProMED-mail map can be accessed at:]

See Also

Chemical weapons – Iraq: sulfur mustard susp. 20160313.4090543

Chemical weapons – Syria (04): (HL) mustard gas, susp 20151107.3773595
Chemical weapons – Syria: (03) mustard gas, susp. 20150904.3625263
Chemical weapons – Syria: (02) mustard gas susp 20150826.3602420
Chemical weapons – Iraq, Syria: chlorine gas, confirmed use 20150718.3520170
Chemical weapons – Syria: chlorine gas, alleged use 20150620.3449320
Chemical weapons – Iraq: chlorine gas exp 20150313.3227032
Chemical weapons, sarin, mustard gas – Libya: controlled by ISIS 20150228.3199627

Chemical weapons – Iraq: chlorine gas 20141030.2913879
Chemical weapons – Syria (03): chlorine gas susp 20140525.2496768
Chemical weapons – Syria (02): increased stillbirths & congenital abnormalities 20140514.2472785
Chemical weapons – Syria: suspected attack, RFI 20140414.2402387
Chemical weapon destruction – Libya 20140216.2281640

Chemical weapons – Germany: (ST) WWII site, alert 20131026.2021211
Chemical weapons – Syria (09): U.N. report, sarin conf. 20130916.1948586
Chemical weapons – Syria (08): USA response 20130904.1917433
Chemical weapons – Syria (07) 20130825.1900325
Chemical weapons – Syria (06): suspect attack, RFI 20130821.1892712
Chemical weapons – Syria (05): sarin 20130615.1774393
Chemical weapons – Syria (04): sarin 20130606.1757059
Chemical weapons – Syria (03): sarin 20130605.1755498
Chemical weapons – Syria (02): investigation 20130321.1597374
Chemical weapons – Syria: claims of civilian losses 20130320.1595751

Chemical weapons – Syria: alert 20110825.2590

A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the International Society for Infectious Diseases

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