- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Syrian rebel fighters accused the military on Wednesday of unleashing chemical weapons on civilians in an attack just outside Damascus that left scores of women and children dead.

The rebel forces posted gruesome photographs of what they claimed was the scene of the poison-gas attack on various Internet sites. The photographs could not be verified by an independent source, the Los Angeles Times reported, and the government denied the chemical attack.

Syria’s official news agency characterized the accusations as “untrue” and “completely baseless,” and it suggested that rebel fighters were trying to muddle a United Nations investigation into whether chemical weapons have been used in the conflict. Both sides have accused the other of unleashing poison gases that have caused injuries and deaths to civilians.


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Rebel fighters, however, say the government has killed perhaps hundreds of innocent civilians with this alleged chemical attack. They say the gases were unleashed early Wednesday in the region of Ghouta, a rebel stronghold outside Syria’s capital.

Meanwhile, the Syrian government said on Wednesday its military forces had found a “mass grave” of civilians, including women and children, who were killed by the rebel fighters — only they called the rebel fighters “terrorists,” the L.A. Times reported. They said the grave was unearthed in Latakia province, but again there was no independent confirmation of the accusations.