Russian Federation pounds Syrian rebel areas after ‘toxic gas attack’ injures dozens

Syrian government claims toxic gas released by rebel groups injured 107 people in Aleppo

Syrian government media also accused rebels of firing shells with chlorine gas at the regime-held town in Aleppo province, with the opposition denying the claims, alleging that the regime gas was accidentally released in the area.

They were the first to hit the area since Moscow and insurgent backer Ankara agreed to set up the demilitarized area around Idlib in September to prevent a massive regime attack to retake the area.

Syrian warplanes attacked rebel-held areas for the first time in weeks Sunday in the most serious violation of a truce between Russian Federation and Turkey.

Russian Federation says it has sent military chemicals experts to Aleppo after reports that shells fired by insurgents in the Syrian city left dozens of people with breathing and vision problems.

Syrian state media and a monitor reported that around 100 Syrians were hospitalised with breathing difficulties in Aleppo after an attack allegedly using "toxic gas".

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Zaher Batal, the head of the Aleppo Doctors Syndicate, told Reuters news agency that it was the first gas attack against civilians in the city since the start of the conflict in 2011.

Patients suffered difficulty breathing, eye inflammation, shivering and fainting, he said.

The chemical attack seems to have provided Russian Federation with a justification to pound their territory.

Rebel commanders and opposition figures discredited the government reports, denying they threw gas into Aleppo and accusing Damascus of seeking to undermine an existing cease-fire and efforts to kickstart political talks. "This is purely a lie", he tweeted. State TV later said the gas affected two other areas in the city.

Russia's defence spokesman said earlier that the shells fired at residential areas of Aleppo were "filled with chlorine", calling this a preliminary conclusion backed up by the victims' symptoms.

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The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said the shelling in Aleppo wounded 94 people, while government shelling earlier on Saturday had killed nine people in Idlib. The government has responded with counter attacks on rebel-held areas in the Aleppo countryside. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, seven children and two women were killed in bombing by the government on Saturday.

The latter attack, which came in response to what the USA and its allies had insisted was another chemical attack in Douma on the outskirts of Damascus, saw 105 cruise missiles being fired from sea and air at Syrian government targets.

The dominant force among an array of factions holding sway in Idlib is Tahrir al-Sham, an Islamist alliance led by fighters formerly linked to al-Qaeda.

Damascus has repeatedly denied using chemical weapons in the war.

The UN-OPCW team also accused the Islamic State (IS) extremist group of using mustard gas twice in 2015 and 2016.

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