Chemical Weapon Attacks Are A New Normal For Syrians
A February report from the Syrian American Medical Society documented 161 chemical attacks since the conflict began. It's already out of date.By Jake Godin | September 7, 2016
Chemical weapons are banned. But in Syria, they've become the new normal.
"When you're exposed to chlorine, first of all you can smell it. So it's like bleach and that's what people describe," said Dr. Zaher Sahloul, president of the Syrian American Medical Society. "Patients start coming to the emergency room, all of them having the same symptoms: shortness of breath, coughing, feeling suffocating, tearing, nauseated, vomiting. Some of them have respiratory arrest, they stop breathing, and they have to be put on life support. There were several incidents that happened where people died. If you have enough exposure to chlorine, then that will cause death."
Syria was forced to destroy its chemical weapons stockpiles after signing onto the Chemical Weapons Convention in 2013. While stockpiles of chlorine, a common cleaning chemical, aren't regulated, using it as a chemical weapon is still illegal and considered a war crime.