Large numbers of people in Harasta, a suburb in the Syrian capital, experienced trouble breathing after a seeming chemical weapons assault during the night, rebel-affiliated sources asserted. Video footage revealed wounded individuals splayed out on the floor using oxygen masks and injured rebels with watery eyes being loaded into a vehicle as health workers inserted tubes down their throat. The video footage could not be confirmed as authentic.
Journalists for the French newspaper Le Monde published on Monday personal accounts of symptoms they experienced after coming under evident chemical assault last month by the Syrian military in central Damascus.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said there was "increasingly strong evidence of localized use of chemical weapons" in the Arab nation. As a result, the French government will confer with partner nations on what appropriate measures should be pursued, he said.
Russia on Tuesday rebuked the European Union for its recent decision to permit member nations to supply Syrian rebels with arms on "a case-by-case basis," the New York Times reported. Moscow backs Damascus in the Syrian civil war.
British Foreign Secretary William Hague praised the EU decision but said his government does not have any "plans to send arms [to the rebels] at the moment," the London Daily Telegraph reported on Tuesday.
Damascus will take part in a planned international peace conference on ending the civil war, according to Russia. There are that the forum planned by Russia and the United States will succeed in ending the bloody conflict, according to the Associated Press. Those are exacerbated by possible weapons sales to Syrian rebels as well as anticipated deliveries of Russian air defenses to the Assad government, according to Reuters.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met on Monday in Paris to privately discuss preparations for the forum. The two chief diplomats have held a string of talks in recent weeks around convening the conference, ITAR-Tass reported.
Syria's pre-eminent opposition organization, the Syrian National Council, on Sunday said it basically is supportive of participating in the peace talks while reaffirming that it would not agree to any settlement that allows Assad to maintain some degree of power, the Xinhua News Agency reported.