By Burak Karacaoglu, Esref Musa
IDLIB, Syria (AA) - Survivors of chemical attacks in Idlib, Syria, told their harrowing stories Tuesday to Anadolu Agency, including a family of six that narrowly escaped an attack by the Syrian regime.
Mohammad Haj Yousef, a member of the White Helmets civil-defense agency, was able to make it to a hospital following a chlorine gas attack.
“My temperature went up, I felt dizzy, nausea and began vomiting right after we reached a nearby hospital with some victims who were injured by [Bashar] Assad’s chlorine gas barrel bombs,” Yousef said. “Doctors cleaned us with water and gave us immediate treatment.”
Eyyad Kafrantoti told Anadolu Agency six people were at a house when they heard a radio broadcast from an observation location that said Assad’s helicopter was heading to the Saraqib village air space.
“They dropped two barrel bombs but they did not explode,” Eyyad said, “Someone from the shelter yelled, ‘I smell chlorine!’, so we tried to climb to the roof to escape toxic gas. Two of our friends fainted. After that, we had fever and began vomiting,” he added.
Idlib was declared as de-escalation zone according to a cease-fire agreement last May that was reached in the Kazakhstan capital of Astana.
The Syrian regime, however, has repeatedly violated the deal and has targeted residential areas in opposition-held no-tension zones like Idlib.
Controlled by anti-regime armed groups, the province has been under intense airstrikes for the past two months.
Syria has been locked in a devastating civil war since March 2011, when the Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity.
While UN officials say hundreds of thousands of victims have been killed in the conflict, regime officials say the death toll is closer to 10,000.