Middle East

BREAKING: Dozens Killed in Suspected Chemical Weapons Attack

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Dozens of people, including some 28 children, died during an aerial attack on the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra.

Observers fear most of the victims died from chemical gas poisoning.

Officials with the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that a great many of the dead had no visible injuries.

Most appeared to have died from suffocation.

It was later reported that sarin gas had been dropped on the city by the Russian air force.

Revenge attack?

Last week, ISIS managed to retake Palmyra from the Russian-backed forces of Syrian dictator Bashar Assad.

Some have speculated that a chemical gas attack on the ISIS forces holding the city could be an act of revenge.

But it was local civilians who paid the highest price.

Both Russia and the Syrian army have denied using chemical weapons in their fight against ISIS and other rebels.

But UN investigators determined that chemical weapons had been used at least once during Syria’s civil war.

Obama’s weakness

In 2013, some 1,400 people were killed in a chemical weapons attack on the rebel-held Ghouta suburb of Damascus. Chlorine was the weapon of choice.

Prior to that attack, US President Barack Obama vowed a strong American response if chemical weapons were used.

Subsequently, ISIS and other groups also used chemical weapons against their enemies. Many civilians were killed in each incident.

Obama’s failure to follow through on his promise severely weakened America’s standing in the Middle East.

Many allies in the Arab world, and even some in Israel, said that under Obama, America could not be relied upon.

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