Syrian rebels hit by IS 'chemical attack'

Syrian rebels hit by IS 'chemical attack'
Dozens of Syrian rebels have been injured after IS launched a suspected chemical attack on Turkish-backed fighters.
2 min read
27 November, 2016
Turkey has supported a number of rebel groups in Syria [Anadolu]
Twenty two Syrian rebels have been injured in a suspected chemical gas attack from Islamic State group militants in northern Syria, the Turkish army said on Sunday.

"After a rocket was fired by Daesh (IS), 22 opposition members were observed to have been exposed in their eyes and bodies to chemical gas," the general staff said in a statement.

The attack took place near the village of Khaliliya, east of al-Rai in northern Syria.

Turkish media said that the affected Syrian fighters were brought over the frontier to the Turkish border town of Kilis for treatment.

Turkish emergency workers donned special chemical suits to protect themselves and treat the injured. The Syrians were brought to the main hospital in Kilis where they are currently undergoing treatment.

Television pictures showed some of the Syrians being transferred on stretchers to the hospital, with the emergency workers dressed in full-body white protective clothing and gas masks.

The Turkish army is backing the Syrian fighters in northern Syria - mostly with artillery, tanks and air raids - aimed at rooting out IS from the border area.

The operation also has a double purpose of ensuring there is no Kurdish militia presence.

In a three-month operation, the rebels have so far captured the IS stronghold of Jarabulus, cleared IS from al-Rai and retaken the symbolically important town of Dabiq without much resistance.

They are now moving to capture al-Bab from the militants in an advance that appears to be taking more time and encountering greater opposition.