Early on the morning of August 21, the latest and most horrific atrocity to date in the ongoing Syria conflict saw hundreds killed, many of them women and children, as surface-to-surface rockets tipped with chemical weapons described as toxic nerve gas, were aimed and launched at rebel forces on the outskirts of Damascus by Syria President Bashar Assad’s forces.
According to the BBC:
UK Foreign Secretary William Hague called for the Syrian government "to allow immediate access to the area" for the investigators and said that Britain would raise the issue at the UN.
If confirmed, the attacks would mark a "shocking escalation in the use of chemical weapons in Syria", Mr Hague said.
The gas tipped rockets landed in about 10 towns and villages around Damascus, including the areas of Irbin, Duma and Muadhamiya, where the Syria government is attempting to drive out rebel forces.
NBC News reported that a nurse at the Douma Emergency Collection facility reported at least 213 dead in that region.
"Many of the casualties are women and children. They arrived with their pupils dilated, cold limbs and foam in their mouths. The doctors say these are typical symptoms of nerve gas victims," she said.
Government officials in Syria have denied reports that chemical weapons were used in the early morning attacks.