Reports of chemical gas attacks in 2 Syrian cities

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(CNN) Two chemical gas attacks have been reported in northern Syria, one in the region where a Russian helicopter was downed a day earlier, killing all five people on board.

In the first attack, cylinders suspected of containing chlorine gas were dropped in residential areas in the city of Saraqeb in Idlib province, the anti-regime, voluntary search-and-rescue group Idlib Civil Defence said in a statement posted to its Facebook page.
In the second incident, the Syrian government claimed that “terrorist groups” carried out a gas attack that killed five people in the old town of the besieged city of Aleppo on Tuesday afternoon, according to the state-run news agency SANA.
“Five civilians were killed and eight others suffered suffocation due to a terrorist attack with shells containing poisonous gas,” the city’s health director Mohamad Hazouri told SANA.

Doctor: Symptoms of chlorine poisoning

In the Saraqeb attack, the gas, which the statement said smelled like chlorine, caused 30 cases of breathing difficulties, the Idlib Civil Defence — also known as the White Helmets — said.
CNN has spoken with a doctor in Saraqeb who said he treated some of those affected by the alleged attack, who said their symptoms were consistent with those “of someone who has suffered from chlorine poisoning.”

A photographer who took photos of the injured for the White Helmets told CNN victims were suffering symptoms such as watering eyes, spasms, sweating, coughing and difficulty breathing.
The Syrian National Council, a coalition of opposition groups, blamed the Assad regime for the alleged attack in Idlib province, where a Russian helicopter had earlier been downed after making what the Kremlin said was an aid delivery to Aleppo.
“Developments on the ground show how the Assad regime continues to blatantly ignore international law and UN Security Council resolutions, especially those related to the use of chemical weapons,” the SNC said in a statement.

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