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United Nations investigating reports of chlorine attacks on civilians in Syria

08 February 2018

But he did not allude to any other response, including military retaliation, that France might take against the regime of President Bashar Al-Assad if the attacks are confirmed. "Our air defense systems blocked them and destroyed majority".

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the air strike targeted positions of the Syrian army and its allies in the area of Jamraya, northwest of Damascus, which is home to a government research centre and was also hit in December.

The Syrian state news agency SANA said three people were killed in the government-controlled Old City in Damascus when rebels launched a series of missiles.

The al-Qaida-linked Levant Liberation Committee, which is the dominant militant group in Idlib, said its fighters shot down the Russian jet near the town of Saraqeb in Idlib province and killed its pilot after he ejected from the plane.

- Idlib: Military operations in what is one of the last rebel-held stronghold have resulted in increased casualties and the movement of civilians - about 1.2 million out of 2.4 million civilians have been internally displaced.

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Ragıp Soylu, Washington correspondent for Turkey's Daily Sabah outlet, said on Twitter shortly after the news broke that local sources were claiming no chemical attack had occurred, but that the FSA fighters had been exposed to some form of smoke from another source. It said it ongoing fighting and the deliberate obstructions by forces at the front lines were blocking aid organizations from reaching civilians in need.

United Nations war crimes investigators said on Tuesday that they were studying multiple reports that chemical weapons have been used in rebel-held zones.

Idlib and Eastern Ghouta are two of four "de-escalation zones" which had been agreed upon by both sides of the conflict at peace talks in Kazakhstan past year.

He described the government's siege and indiscriminate bombardment of Eastern Ghouta as "international crimes".

"In a risky situation in Syria, (Turkey) should not add war to war".

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Civilians had been bracing for more raids as the regime appeared intent on ratcheting up the pressure on Eastern Ghouta, a rebel pocket on the capital's doorstep.

"The parties are committed to the consistent implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) for Iran's nuclear program, which is important for maintaining global peace and stability", a joint statement following the call declared.

Syrian government has been critical of Aljazeera and Al-Arabia TV channels coverage from the very beginning of the crisis in 2011.

Turkey has split with the US -a fellow Western military alliance North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member- over the Pentagon's backing for Kurdish fighters alleged to have ties to the militant group known as the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has launched attacks for decades in Turkey.

Those strikes followed an onslaught of airstrikes by both Russian and Syrian warplanes against rebel-held towns and villages in Idlib on Sunday and Monday, in apparent retaliation for the downing of a Russian warplane in the province Saturday.

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The military said the soldier was killed Monday by a mortar-and-rocket attack that also wounded five Turkish soldiers and a civilian military contractor.

United Nations investigating reports of chlorine attacks on civilians in Syria