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Italy condemns alleged chemical attack in Syria

09 aprile 2018 | 14.13
LETTURA: 1 minuti

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The Italian government on Monday deplored the suspected chlorine gas attack on the rebel enclave of Douma, east of the Syrian capital Damascus, in which dozens of people were allegedly killed.

"We express our indignation for the dozens of civilian casualties, including women and children, caused by the latest air strikes in the area of Damascus, and particularly in Douma,” foreign minister Angelino said on Monday in a statement.

“News of the possible use of chemical agents on the large number of innocent civilians involved raises alarm and concern and should be a priority issue to verify,” Alfano added.

The US and France have threatened a "joint, strong response" to the alleged attack on Saturday in which toxic gas inside barrel bombs was dropped from helicopters over Douma, killing dozens of civilians and wounding scores more, activist groups said citing local medical sources.

Syrian state news said an "official source" denied the allegations and Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said no evidence has been found of a chemical weapons attack in Douma, which lies in the battered Eastern Ghouta suburb of Damascus.

Alfano called for humanitarian access to civilians in Eastern Ghouta, which pro-government forces are believed to have completely re-taken from rebels after a weeks-long government offensive in which more than 1,600 people were killed.

“It is urgent to meet the humanitarian needs of civilians in Ghouta by ceasing hostilities in line with UN Security Council Resolution 2401," Alfano stated, referring to the unanimous resolution passed by the UN's top decision-making body on 24 February.

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