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Physicians for Human Rights – Attack in Syria was Chemical Weapons

A team of experts from Physicians for Human Rights (PHR), an independent organization that uses medicine and science to stop mass atrocities and severe human rights violations,  has reviewed footage of a number of publicly available videos emerging from Syria, along with reports of events leading up to the filmed footage, and concluded that there is compelling medical evidence that chemical weapons or other lethal gases have been used. The organization issued the following statement:

“The videos show multiple scenes with dozens of casualties with no apparent signs of trauma, injury, or bleeding. In some cases, apparent survivors are experiencing agonal breathing, which is a sign of imminent respiratory failure and death, as well as copious oral and nasal secretions and vomiting. This medical evidence is consistent with reports by Syrian medical sources describing a pattern of symptoms, including acute respiratory distress, pupillary constriction, excessive oral and nasal secretions and vomiting, all of which suggest exposure to an organophosphate such as sarin. While we can’t speak about the authenticity of the videos, the consistency of the clinical evidence emerging from these videos in multiple locations indicates the use of a chemical weapon or another lethal agent. The videos also indicate an appalling lack of adequate medical supplies, including oxygen, endotracheal tubes, nasogastric suction, respiratory ventilators, basic medications such as atropine, benzodiazepines, and IVs fluids, and appropriate medical personnel.”

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