WHO: 500 People Showed Symptoms Pointing to Toxic Weapons Exposure in Douma
The World Health Organization on Wednesday said that around 500 people had been treated for “signs and symptoms consistent with exposure to toxic chemicals” after the Saturday poison gas attack on the town of Douma in eastern Ghouta.
“We should all be outraged at these horrific reports and images from Douma,” said Peter Salama, WHO’s deputy director-general for emergency preparedness and response.
“WHO demands immediate unhindered access to the area to provide care to those affected, to assess the health impacts, and to deliver a comprehensive public health response,” Salama added.
The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said it would send investigators to Douma “very soon.”
The United States’ ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley on Wednesday said that Russia had undermined the credibility of the UN Security Council after Moscow vetoed a US draft resolution aimed at the establishment of an independent investigation mechanism on the use of chemical weapons in Syria.
The chemical attack on civilians in the town of Douma is a war crime that bears the hallmarks of the Assad regime, but its ally Russia shares potential criminal responsibility for its use, head of Human Rights Watch said on Monday.
Kenneth Roth, executive director of the activist group, said countries should consider putting pressure on President Vladimir Putin ahead of Russia hosting the World Cup in June, as Assad was already “a man who has no reputation left.”
On Monday, the UN Security Council held an emergency meeting to discuss the chemical attack on Douma which killed and injured hundreds of civilians. The attack sparked widespread condemnation by Arab and Western countries with Western countries threatening military action to punish Assad for the use of chemical weapons.
The Syrian Coalition called for holding the Assad regime accountable repeated use of internationally banned weapons and for the referral of Syria to the International Criminal Court. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)