Before 3:00AM on Wednesday, August 21, the eastern Damascus suburb of Ghouta was the target of a vicious attack that left hundreds dead in their homes.
First responders and medical staff treating victims described symptoms that suggest chemical weapons were used during the attack. Though unconfirmed, initial reports by Syrian opposition forces in the area state that around 1,200 – nearly all civilians – were killed on Wednesday and this number is expected to rise in the coming hours.
If confirmed, Wednesday’s incident would be one of the largest chemical weapon attacks targeting a civilian area in recent memory. An indiscriminate weapon of mass destruction, chemical weapons target anyone within its range – including women and children.
Earlier today, Tanenbaum’s Syrian Peacemaker in Action Hind Kabawat sent forwarded the following statement about what she hears is happening:
To some people it’s a beautiful sunny day, but for children and residents of Eastern Ghouta it’s not, they went to sleep but never woke up. Overnight, forces committed one of the biggest massacre since the Syrian Revolution started. They shelled the region with chemical weapons at 2:12 A.M with four missiles leaving behind NOT LESS than 1188 dead so far, and without a doubt the number is going to increase in the upcoming hours.
Most of the casualties were children and women, all of whom passed away while they were sleeping. There are a lot of civilians who are still in their houses who never had the chance to leave the area; they are probably dead by now. In addition to that, odors are spreading in some neighborhoods of Damascus and Ghouta. Doctors believe that Sarin gas was used in the attack. We call for The International Investigation team to investigate the use of chemical weapons in Damascus and to go to the inflicted regions now!
The initial casualty report is 1188 dead:
Seqba: 100 dead
Kafr-Batna: 100 dead
Douma: 150 dead
Hamouriyi: 300 dead
Erbeen: 30 children, 16 women, 17 men, total of 63 dead
Zamalk: 400 dead
Al Marj: still not known
Ein Terma: 75 dead
If you agree that the violence in Syria must end, please read this Peacemakers in Action Network Statement and spread it throughout your personal and professional networks.
More information about Wednesday’s attack can be found here: