A global medical charity organization has revealed that they have treated thousands of patients in Syria with poison gas symptoms.
According to an article from The Guardian, Médecin sans Frontières (MSF) has reported that three Syrian hospitals supported by the organization have received and treated approximately 3,600 patients displaying neurotoxic symptoms. Patients were treated in less than three hours following the poison gas incident on Wednesday in Damascus. 355 people have died, but it is believed that many more have been killed.
Doctors have not been able to confirm the exact cause, but the patients have displayed symptoms that are often seen when people are exposed to poison gas. Medical personnel working in the hospitals have reported that patients have been suffering from convulsions, pinpoint pupils, excess saliva, blurred vision, and respiratory distress. Dr. Bart Jannsens, director of the operations for the MSF, released a statement, saying that is highly likely that the patients had been exposed to anything other than a chemical weapon
The reported symptoms of the patients, in addition to the epidemiological pattern of events - characterized by the massive influx of patients in a short period of time, the origin of the patients, and the contamination of medical and first aid workers - strongly indicate mass exposure to a neurotoxic agent.
The use of chemical and/or biological weapons is in a violation of international humanitarian law, but the Syrian government has denied charges that they have used any such weapons. Syrian state television reported on Saturday that government soldiers had found chemical agents in rebel tunnels in a Damascus suburb.
Syrian activists believe Syrian's president, Bashar al-Assad, ordered the chemical gas attacks in an attempt to quell rebel fighters. Russia, a close ally of the troubled nation, has suggested that rebel fighters launched the attack in a bid to garner more international attention. The United Kingdom, United States and even Iran have condemned the attacks. The United Nations is currently attempting to investigate the attack site. UN inspectors are already in Syria, investigation previous allegations of the use of chemical weapons. President Assad has not said whether or not he will allow access the site. If it is confirmed that chemical weapons were used, it would be the deadliest chemical attack in decades.