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United States deny Turkish Army's use of chemical weapons in Afrin and fighting factions in Eastern Ghouta remind government of its failed campaigns

Editing: Mohamad Alaa |
TranslationEditor: Vera Halvorsen |
Translation: Glory Jabr

Turkey - Syria

Field and local developments:

On Sunday, American officials said that the United States ruled out Turkey's use of toxic chemical weapons during attacks on the Afrin region north of Aleppo, Northern Syria.

The Russian news agency Novosti quoted a spokesman for the US administration, Michael Anton, saying that the White House is aware of Syria's accusations against Turkey of using chemical weapons in Afrin, but these reports cannot be confirmed. He ruled out the possibility of Turkey's use of chemical weapons.

The Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) said that their members killed and wounded soldiers of the Turkish Army and fighters of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) in three villages in the Afrin area, 43 km northwest of Aleppo, Northern Syria.

The YPG explained in a statement on their official page that members of their special units carried out an attack in the villages of Quda and Bilika, where clashes took place with the Turkish Army and the FSA, killing 14 FSA fighters while wounding others.

On Saturday, the Kurdish Red Crescent said that the area of ​​Afrin, 43 km north of Aleppo, Northern Syria, was attacked using chemical weapons.

The Kurdish Red Crescent added in a statement that the Afrin hospital received six suffocation cases last night, suffering from respiratory distress, coughing, vomiting, and itchy skin. The same statement noted that one of the injured had a narrowed iris in addition to the previously mentioned symptoms.

In Southern Syria, the FSA factions and Islamist battalions in Eastern Ghouta responded to the government’s propaganda about storming the region by reminding it of its "failed" campaigns during the years of the Syrian revolution.

The spokesman for the al-Rahman Legion of the FSA, Wael Alwan, said that the rumors broadcasted by the loyalist forces are not new. The Republican Guard has tried to break into the Joubar neighborhood for two months now, and return each time with "enormous losses." The Republican Guard was preceded by the elite forces of the Fourth Division, led by Maher al-Assad, the brother of the Bashar al-Assad, however this division also suffered losses.

Meanwhile, thirty schools in Idlib, Northern Syria, were forced to shut down as a result of the military campaign launched by the government and Russian airforce in the province.

The spokesman for the Education Directorate in Idlib, Mustafa Haj Ali, told SMART that 32 air raids targeted 30 schools, and 60 percent of more than 20 schools were completely destroyed. However, 40 percent of the other ten schoold were only partially damaged, such as the schools' windows and doors. Ali pointed out that the cost of restorations will be very high, and they are working to calculate it.

The administration of the Omar ibn Abd al-Aziz surgical hospital in the city of Jisr al-Shughour, 38 km west of Idlib, Northern Syria, resumed the work of the ambulances and women's departments they were shut down for eight days.

One of the doctors in the hospital, who introduced himself as Abu Muawiya, said that they reactivated the two departments because the city and its countryside needs them, because of the continuous shelling of the city. He noted that the hospital serves 40 thousand people.