A Syrian civil rescue organization said on Tuesday that a helicopter had dropped two barrels of toxic gas over a town close to where a Russian helicopter was later shot down. A spokesperson for Syria Civil Defence said that 33 people were affected by what the organization and local doctors believe is chlorine gas. The barrels were dropped and the helicopter was shot down in rebel-controlled Idlib province.
“We know it’s chlorine because we were hit by it in the past and we are familiar with its odour and symptoms,” said Dr. Abdel Aziz Bareeh, who works in Saraqeb, “We have 28 confirmed cases mostly women and children.”
The Russian defense ministry said that the helicopter was shot down after delivering humanitarian aid to Aleppo. Both rebel and government forces have been accused of, and have denied, using chemical weapons in Syria’s five-year war.
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