US looking into reports of gas attack in Syria


Associated Press

DAMASCUS, Syria

The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations said Sunday that reports of a poison-gas attack in a rural village north of Damascus were so far “unsubstantiated,” adding that the United States was trying to establish what really happened before it considers a response.

Both sides in Syria’s civil war blamed each other for the alleged attack that reportedly injured scores of people Friday amid an ongoing international effort to rid the country of chemical weapons.

The details of what happened in Kfar Zeita, an opposition-held village in Hama province about 125 miles north of Damascus, remain murky. Online videos posted by rebel activists showed pale-faced men, women and children gasping for breath at what appeared to be a field hospital. They suggested an affliction by some kind of poison — and yet another clouded incident where both sides blame each other in a conflict that activists say has killed more than 150,000 people with no end in sight.

“We are trying to run this down,” said Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, during an appearance Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.”

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