April 25th Chemical Agent Attacks
The following is a summary of the information that Syrian Support Group has collected to date regarding the use of chemical agents against the Daraya suburb last Thursday morning:
At 1:00AM Damascus time, rockets struck an area in southern Daraya, in an area overlooking the neighboring town of Sahnaya. Our sources claim that the rockets were launched by the Fourth Armored Division (so far this is unconfirmed), which is commanded by Bashar al-Assad’s brother Maher al-Assad and is one of the elite units guarding the capital city. Witnesses report that two of the explosions were “colorful” and did not resemble the explosions of ordinary ordinance. No odors accompanied the explosion.
Almost immediately, individuals close to the explosion began experiencing symptoms including muscle spasms, bronchospasm, itching, miosis, vomiting, shortness of breath, and dizziness. Victims were taken to an unnamed field hospital in Daraya, where they were treated with Atropine (intravenously), oxygen, pain-killers, and medicine that is being referred to as “Dixone” and “Arvine” (phonetic transliterations). Between 1:30am and 7:00am, 75 victims were treated in the hospital.
A second attack occurred at 7:00am, with the same effects. An additional 50-55 victims were treated at the field hospital. Though the conditions of eight of the victims were serious and life-threatening, no fatalities have been reported out of all ~130 affected individuals. Videos (here and here) and pictures of the extent of the victims’ miosis (here) were captured by field hospital staff.
Samples have been taken from the impact area, and include soil, hair, urine, clothes, dead animals, and tree leaves. Exportation and testing is being organized and facilitated by relevant third parties. The identity of the chemical substance has not yet been confirmed. However, the physical symptoms caused by the attack closely resemble those of the March 19th attacks in Khan al-Asal, Aleppo, and Oteiba, Damascus.
Doctors are requesting that oxygen-generating equipment, Atropine, and Toxogonin be provided en masse to counter the effects of future attacks. Gas masks have also been requested; rebels are currently attempting to produce their own do-it-yourself gas masks. Most importantly, chemical weapons securement and treatment training must also be provided.