Syrian government chemical attack on Douma injures 1,200 civilians and United States demands sanctions
Field and political updates:
Siraj al-Mahmoud, the spokesman for the Civil Defense in Rif Dimashq, reported in a press conference that the number of civilians injured by suffocation has increased to 1,200 following tge Syrian government forces' bombing the city of Douma (14 kilometers east of Damascus) using chemical gases.
Al-Mahmoud added that they documented 40 killed civilians, including 13 Civil Defense volunteers, but the intensified Russian and government bombings and the Internet outages is preventing the Civil Defense from continuing to document the victims. Al-Mahmoud reported that entire families suffocated to death, and others are still trapped in the basements of their homes.
On Saturday, government forces bombed the city of Douma using toxic gases, killing 85 civilians and injuring 1,000 others with suffocation at an early count.
On Sunday, Heather Nauert, the spokesperson of the United States Department of State demanded sanctions against the Syrian government and its supporters for the chemical massacre in the city of Douma. Nauert noted that Russia bears responsibility for this "brutal" attack, because Russia supports the bombing of civilians and suffocation of the weakest communities in Syria using chemical weapons.
The National Coalition for Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces called upon the member states in the United Nations Security Council to bomb the Syrian government forces’ outposts and airbases, and to transport the file of government massacres to the international criminal court following the massacre in Douma.
On Saturday night and Sunday morning, activists organized a protest in the city of Azaz north of Aleppo following the chemical massacre that the Syrian government forces committed in the city of Douma. The activists called for a general strike in Northern Syria to demand an end to the bombing on civilians in Eastern Ghouta.
SMART received a video showing the treatment of suffocating civilians, including women and children, in a medical clinic in Douma, and photos showing dead civilians. The dead civilians showed symptoms of inhaling toxic gases, including foam flowing from the mouths and nostrils.
The chemical attack in Douma is the most significant attack in a year, after the massacre in the city of Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib that killed 85 civilians and injured 546 others on Apr. 4, 2017. On Aug. 21, 2013, Syrian government forces bombed Eastern Ghouta using chemical weapons, killing 1,360 civilians and suffocating hundreds of others.
The opposition civil committee in Douma continued their negotiations with Russia amidst expectations to reach a final agreement on the fate of the city. The committee added that they reached a ceasefire agreement, but warned Douma’s people to be careful because Syrian government forces did not abide by the ceasefire agreement last time.
On Saturday, the Jaysh al-Islam said that the international community gave Russia and the Syrian government the go-ahead to commit war crimes in Douma. Jaysh al-Islam confirmed that they suggested that their fighters stay in the city.
The opposition committee is made up of a military commander of the Jaysh al-Islam, a member of the unified leadership of Eastern Ghouta, and representatives of the people of Douma.