Syrian army claims “hundreds” killed after strikes hit poisonous gas; US coalition denies reports; US officials obtain communications held between chemical experts and Syrian army before last week’s chemical attacks
The United States-led military coalition carried out airstrikes targeting Islamic State targets in Syria overnight Wednesday. The strikes were carried out as part of Operation Inherent Resolve in a mission targeting known al-Qaeda and ISIS chemical weapons storage in the Deir al-Zor region.
The Syrian army claimed Thursday that the strikes hit a poisonous gas supply belonging to ISIS, and that hundreds of civilians were killed as a result. The United States has denied the reports and no proof of such events has been provided.
A reported 123 airstrikes have been carried out to date by the coalition in the Raqqa region, an ISIS stronghold in Syria.
A spokesman for the coalition, U.S. Air Force Colonel John Dorrian responded to reports from the Syrian army, denying them stating “The Syrian claim is incorrect and likely intentional misinformation,” adding that “We have made adjustments to our operations to account for the potential tensions that resulted from the strikes that were conducted because of the Syrian regime’s chemical attack. But make no mistake, we do plan on continuing our operations and we do continue to look for ways to accelerate them,” referring to last week’s strikes carried out by the United States following Assad regimes use of chemical weapons on his people.
Both Assad’s regime and Russia continue to deny the use of sarin gas. On Thursday, reports surfaced that US officials intercepted communications between Syrian army and chemical experts proving Assad’s regime intentionally planned and carried out the chemical attacks which killed dozens and left hundreds wounded.