March 19, 2013
Russia accused Syrian rebels of using chemical weapons in an attack on Tuesday and said it was an extremely alarming and dangerous development.
“According to information coming from Damascus, a case of the use of chemical weapons by the armed opposition was recorded early in the morning of March 19 in Aleppo province,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
It did not specify the exact source of information on the deadly attack, which Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government and the rebels blamed on one another. It said the explosion of a piece of ammunition “containing a poisonous substance” killed 16 people and wounded about 100 others.
If confirmed, the attack would be the first use of chemical weapons in the two-year-old conflict that has killed more than 70,000 people and set Russia against the West.