On 4 April 2017, the Tahrir al-Sham (also known as al-Qaeda in
If confirmed, the attack would become the deadliest use of chemical weapons in the Syrian Civil War since the Ghouta chemical attack in 2013. The
Use of chemical weapons in the Syrian Civil War has been confirmed by the local sources in
In August 2016, a confidential United Nations report explicitly blamed the Syrian military of Bashar al-Assad for dropping chemical weapons on the towns of Talmenes in April 2014 and Sarmin in March 2015. Several other attacks have been alleged, reported and/or investigated. On 30 March 2017, an airstrike hit the town of al-Lataminah in the northern Hama Governorate, around 15 kilometres (9 miles) from Khan Shaykhun. More than 70 people in the area were then exposed to an unidentified chemical agent and showed symptoms of nausea, agitation, foaming, muscle spasm, and miosis (constriction of the pupil of the eye). Cardiac arrest occurred in two of the victims and an orthopedic doctor died.
The attack took around 7 A.M. April 4, most children and parents had not left for school or work. Witnesses reported smelling a strange odor about ten minutes after some airstrikes, followed by visible symptoms of poisoning. Medical workers and witnesses indicated that attack was different than the chlorine gas attacks they had experienced in the past as the chlorine gas usually killed a few people in confined spaces and buildings. In contrast, in this attack, many people died outside. They were affected by pinpoint pupils indicative of nerve agents and other toxins. Other symptoms included coldness in the extremities, decreased heart rate, and low blood pressure. Some first responders died immediately at the scene and some first responders were sickened when they came into contact with the victims.
Medical sources in Idlib in the immediate aftermath of the attacks reported that more than 58 people, including 11 children, were killed and more than 300 were wounded.
By 7:30 A.M. 100 wounded people had arrived at a local field hospital. Minister of health, Mohamad Firas al-Jundi, said that victims experienced suffocation, fluid in the lungs, foaming at the mouth, unconsciousness, spasm, and paralysis. A few hours after the attack, a nearby clinic treating victims was hit by an airstrike. The area's largest hospital had been bombed two days prior.
On April 5, local doctors and rescue workers at the scene said that the number of dead had risen to 74, with 600 injured, while Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and French Ambassador to the United Nations François Delattre said that over 100 had died.
Rescue workers gathered soil samples and sent them to Western intelligence officials for analysis.
The attack is widely attributed to the Syrian government.
Syrian rebel commander, Hasan Haj Ali, said that