The Syrian Observatory on Human Rights reported that
…Syrian troops have deployed bombs containing a deadly gas while fighting rebels in the central city of Homs.
”Activists in Homs say that six rebels died on Sunday night on the Khaldiyeh-Bayada frontline because they inhaled odourless gas and white smoke,” the observatory said. ”Gas spread in the area after regime troops threw bombs that gave off white smoke as soon as they hit the walls.”
The bombs were allegedly deployed during street clashes with the rebels. ”Those who inhaled the gas felt nauseous and suffered severe headaches. Some suffered fits.
”These are not chemical weapons, but we do not know whether they are internationally prohibited,” said the observatory’s director, Rami Abdel Rahman. ”Activists say it is the first time they have recorded these effects. They’re not conventional weapons.”
The observatory called on the Red Cross to urgently send a specialised medical team to Homs, several districts of which have been besieged by army forces for more than six months. The Local Co-ordination Committees also reported the use of ”bombs containing gases” in Homs.
”These gases lead to muscle relaxation, severe difficulty in breathing and the narrowing of the iris,” the committees, a grassroots network of activists, said.
Amateur video distributed online by the committees showed a man on a stretcher struggling to breathe as a doctor held an oxygen mask over his face.
”It’s definitely a poisonous gas, but we don’t know what type it is,” ha field doctor said. ”It is definitely not sarin.”
–Agence France-Presse, “Rebels kill Intelligence officer in ambusg as Army uses deadly gas on stronghold,” Sydney Morning Herald, December 26, 2012.
The Trenchant Observer