Russian Warplanes Strike Syrian Rebels After Poison Gas Attacks

Russia says group responsible for gas shelling was target

In response to a Syrian rebel attack that sickened scores of civilians with exposure to chlorine gas released in shells, Russian warplanes carried out airstrikes against parts of rebel-held northern Syria.

Russian military officials say that the targeted areas were rebel positions belonging to the group behind the poison gas attacks on Aleppo. This included al-Qaeda-linked Horas al-Din and Ansar al-Din Front.

The rebels targeted were meant to have been part of the Turkey-Russia truce deal, but had refused to cooperate with the deal, saying it was a conspiracy to undermine them. The chemical attack seems to have provided Russia with a justification to pound their territory.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights is reporting 94 people were treated for exposure to chlorine gas, and that 31 remain in the hospitals. Syrian medical officials said that all but 15 had already been discharged, with improvements to the only two who were in critical condition.

Turkey confirmed they’ve had discussions with Russia on the matter, and added that they believe the recent developments were meant to undermine the negotiated deal.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.